Column

Skyler’s Swishes: A historic week on and off the court

This week’s top moments include statistics being redefined and players making their voices heard.

“Skyler’s Swishes” is a column by Skyler Trepel recapping the top three events from the past week of NBA play.

Russell Westbrook redefines the triple-double again

Getting 10 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in a game is no easy feat. Kobe Bryant had 21 career triple-doubles and Michael Jordan had 25.

This is partially because it wasn’t as much a part of their game, but is still no easy feat as the only player to average a triple-double for an entire season was Oscar Robertson in 1962 … that is, until Westbrook came along. Westbrook is currently on pace to average a triple-double for the fourth time in five seasons, making mincemeat of a record once thought to be untouchable.

Westbrook has recorded 10 triple-doubles in his last 11 games and was only one assist shy of a triple-double in the game he missed the mark on. The Washington Wizards are currently on an eight-game win streak with Westbrook’s heroics.

Westbrook is even on pace to surpass Oscar Robertson in all-time career triple-doubles, as he currently has 176 to Robertson’s 181. He even had a virtuoso performance of 37 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists this past Friday.

While Westbrook redefines the triple-double, another superstar is redefining the NBA in another way.

Steph Curry redefines the 3-pointer again

Curry has made the NBA record books by hitting 85 3-pointers so far this April, surpassing the previous record of 82 by James Harden in November 2019. This past week he had performances of 49 points, 32 points and 37 points.

With Curry’s 49-piece on Monday, he achieved the longest streak of scoring 30-plus points in consecutive games by a player 33 years or older with his 11th straight game, surpassing Kobe Bryant’s record of 10 straight games. Curry’s 10 3-pointers on this night gave him four games this month with 10 or more threes.

For context, only 12 players in NBA history have ever hit more than 10 3-pointers in a game and Steph Curry has done this four times in one month. Here is a small taste of what Curry has been up to during his historic shooting spree.

Curry has undoubtedly been making NBA history, but history was also made off the court this week.

NBA reacts to historic Derek Chauvin verdict

May 25, 2020 was a day that made many people of different races and backgrounds finally come together and stand up to truly emphasize that Black Lives Matter. George Floyd was murdered by police officer Derek Chauvin in a completely unnecessary, heinous and hateful act that was caught on film in nine minutes and 29 seconds of horror.

This tape sparked protests and activism across the United States and the globe, even during a global pandemic, as one of the largest social justice movements of all time took place around the world.

Not only this, but George Floyd was extremely close to former NBA champion Stephen Jackson. April 20, 2021 began, for many USC students, with sports commentating legend Stephen A. Smith giving a live update during his virtual USC appearance on how the verdict was in and he would be discussing it on ESPN hours later.

Chauvin’s conviction was a great step forward, but there is still much work to be done. Former Los Angeles Sparks champion and current WNBA player Candace Parker gave a poignant speech reflecting on this sentiment while covering the NBA on TNT.

Karl Anthony-Towns of the Minnesota Timberwolves commented very optimistically on the verdict.

Miami Heat legend and NBA on TNT analyst Dwyane Wade shared a similar sentiment to Candace Parker.

Wade is also part of the Social Change Fund with Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul, which also released a powerful statement. The link for more information on the Social Change Fund can be found here.

Clearly, accountability took place and some justice was served, but true justice would be George Floyd still having his life to live. There is still lots of work to be done, but progress is being made that is in no small part due to the incredible activism within the NBA family.

“Skyler’s Swishes” typically runs every Monday.