Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers embarked on their new era under Doc Rivers with a good win over the Washington Wizards. However, a big story during the game was Russell Westbrook's performance alongside Bradley Beal. Westbrook had a triple-double by the third quarter and became the sixth player in NBA history to reach that milestone in his debut with a new franchise. In this report, we will give you the five players who did it before the 2016-17 NBA MVP.
Russell Westbrook is the first player to record a triple-double in his debut with the Wizards
In the process of displaying his all-around abilities, Westbrook made history with the Wizards. Even though they lost to a solid Philly team, Westbrook had a strong game. He recorded 21 points, 15 assists, and 11 rebounds.
He made nine of his 22 field goals and also played well alongside Bradley Beal.
Beal scored 31 points and made 11 of his 22 shots.
Moreover, the Wizards made 13 of their 27 three-pointers. Regardless of their loss in the season-opening game, the Wizards might have found their identity. Westbrook handling the ball and finding efficient shooters beyond the arc can be a great tool for the entire season.
With his triple-double in his Washington debut, Russell Westbrook became the sixth player in NBA history to do so in his debut with a new franchise. He was the first to do it since Elfrid Payton did it with the New Orleans Pelicans in 2018.
Let us take a look at those other triple-doubles in a debut with a new team.
#1 Oscar Robertson - Cincinnati Royals
Oscar Robertson has been synonymous with the triple-double ever since his NBA career started. Literally.
Robertson, the all-time leader in triple-doubles with 181, recorded his first during his NBA debut on October 19th, 1960, in a 17-point victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.
He recorded 21 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists to lead the Royals to a good win over Elgin Baylor and Jerry West. That match was the first game for the Lakers since moving to Los Angeles.
Robertson was the only player in NBA history to average a triple-double for an entire NBA season (1961-62) before Westbrook did three consecutive years from the 2016-17 season to the 2018-19 campaign.
#2 Nate Thurmond - Chicago Bulls
Nate Thurmond played the first 11 seasons of his Hall-of-Fame career with the Warriors, both in Philadelphia and with Golden State. In his debut with the Chicago Bulls in 1974, Thurmond recorded the NBA's first quadruple-double against the Atlanta Hawks.
The Hall-of-Famer recorded 22 points, 14 rebounds, 13 assists, and 12 blocks in the Bulls' five-point win over the Hawks on October 18th, 1974.
Despite his noisy start with the Bulls, Thurmond only averaged eight points, 11 rebounds, four assists, and two blocks per game in the 1974-75 NBA season. However, that first game for Chicago will always be remembered.