Perhaps we should have seen Russell Westbrook's triple-double season coming. No other player approaches the game with as much tenacity and plays every possession like it's his last. Factor in his world-class talent and knack for filling up the stat sheets and it's the perfect recipe for a history-making campaign.
Westbrook made his intentions for the season known from the jump. After his Thunder Buddy decided to bolt for a layup line-chance at a ring with the rivals, he was free to do whatever the hell he wanted. It turns out that what he wanted to do was to become the modern day "Big O," while leading what was left of the squad back to the postseason. Game after game, Westbrook hit the double-digit mark in points, rebounds, and assists, making it pretty hard to argue against him as the league MVP in the process. In a game against the Denver Nuggets on April 9, he recorded his record-breaking 42nd triple-double of the season, then capped off a 14-point 4th quarter rally with a 36-foot game-winner at the buzzer.
Fittingly, Westbrook made history in Air Jordans. Not just any Air Jordans—the Air Jordans. The flagship game shoe, while technologically advanced, hasn't had much historical context since Michael Jordan called it quits in 2003. Both Dwyane Wade and Westbrook have led the line at different points since, but this season marks the first time that a post-retirement Air Jordan will truly have significance beyond the logo it bears.
Of course, because he does what he wants, Westbrook's Air Jordan 31 is a little different. Citing issues with the shoe's flexibility, he requested that his personal pairs be made with the tooling of the Air Jordan 30. So, beyond the preseason, he never played in a retail version of the sneaker—at least not until Jordan Brand decided to release his "Why Not?" PE in celebration of his unforgettable season.
It's never too early to reflect on history, so here's a look back at every pair of Air Jordans that Westbrook wore during his triple-double performances this season. Things began with a simple PE in white and orange, which turned out to be the colorway he wore for 10 triple-doubles, the most of any single style. Number 42, his last of the season, happened in a black and orange pair. Read on for the full game-by-game breakdown.