Russell Westbrook … Oscar Robertson … Michael Jordan … Elfrid Payton.
That’s right, the Pelicans guard on Monday joined a who’s who of NBA all-timers when he recorded a triple-double in his fifth consecutive game, putting his name alongside Westbrook, Robertson, Wilt Chamberlain and Jordan.
The 6-foot-3 Payton had 19 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds Monday in New Orleans’ 129-125 overtime win at Dallas. Despite Payton’s recent productivity, the victory ended a six-game Pelicans losing streak.
“Honestly, personally, it hasn’t sunk in yet,” Payton, 25, said when asked about joining the elite list. “I’m just trying to hoop, play at a high level. I’m just glad we got the win.”
Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry was more effusive.
“He’s been playing that way for us. … The rebounding part to me has been the thing that’s been the biggest surprise. To be a point guard and be able to come up with double-digit rebounds night after night after night, that is really tough to do,” Gentry said. “Any time they mention you in the same breath as Westbrook, you have to feel really good about it. If they mention you in the same breath as Oscar Robertson, that’s a whole ‘nother area.”“