Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook has 11 more games to eclipse Oscar Robertson’s NBA record of 41 triple doubles in a season. Westbrook leads the 21 players and overall NBA record of 79 triple doubles this season. Minnesota Timberwolves guard Ricky Rubio set the new league record of 79 on March 5, with over a month left in the regular season. Last year, Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry beat his previous record for the most threes in a season on February 27 against the Thunder.
This new era of basketball is alarming. Rules restricting traditional hard fouls popularized post players moving out to the wings, result in the majority of starting fives in the league featuring five mid-range or further shooters. The absence of big men in the paint opens room for guards to grab more boards. The new style of play encourages offenses built around the three-point line and often results in inconsistent shooters told to keep shooting until they begin to make 24-foot-plus attempts.
Change is good, no doubt, but statistics and records should never lose value because the quality of the game is going down. The league’s All-Star Game in the last few seasons resulted in commissioner Adam Silver brainstorming on how to make the exhibition more competitive in 2018. If the league values its product then they’ll surely make the effort to maybe even return to some of the game’s older rules, before the NBA loses its credibility as a major professional league in general.
For the sake of basketball lovers worldwide, the premier league needs to return to the roots of the game, like baseball and football do when flash begins to step over the line. This league is as popular as it became over more “entertaining” styles of the game, because basketball lovers love to watch good basketball.