The chip on Westbrook’s shoulder seemed to grow tenfold during the 2016-17 season, The first after Kevin Durant bolted to the Golden State Warriors. This attitude was reflected in Jordan Brand marketing: “some run, some make runways.”
The shoe that Russ wore during his career year to come was the Jordan XXX1 (31). This sneaker featured a woven material in the midfoot leading up the toe for the same structural softness that past Jordans provided. The heel portion creatively featured a synthetic leather, which was a homage to the Air Jordan 1. The sole got upgraded with a full-length Zoom Air unit, which provided more bounce and energy return on heel and forefoot strikes. Russ apparently didn’t like this tooling, as he soon started wearing a Jordan XXX / XXX1 hybrid with the sole from the AJ 30.
With the new soles on the Jordan “30.5,” Russ was ready to put up big numbers. The 2016-17 season saw the rise of the Triple Double King. Many fans saw Oscar Robertson’s history triple-double averaging season in 1961-62 as untouchable, until Westbrook started pulling off a string of the statistic anomalies. This goal seemed to connect directly to Russell’s lifelong slogan; “why not?”
The MVP talks were at critical mass when Russell finished with an insane 57 points 13 rebounds 11 assist night – the highest point total ever for a triple-double game. To cap off the season, Russell Westbrook recorded an NBA record 42nd triple-double that included 50 total points and a crazy game-winner.
Westbrook would finish with astounding averages of 31.6 points, 10.7 rebounds, and 10.4 assists for the historic season that netted the Brodie a league MVP trophy.