New Orleans Pelicans point guard Elfrid Payton is a nice player, but one that probably only the hardcore NBA fan has seen play. Even fringe NBA fans might know him for his old, crazy hairstyle that he rocked during his first four years with the Orlando Magic. Non-basketball fans? Fair to say they have absolutely no idea who Elfrid Payton is, where he went to school, or what team he's on now.
I like to think I follow the NBA closely, and I didn't even realize he had signed with the Pelicans this past offseason, likely because he's been in and out of the lineup battling injury issues. That said, he has started all 33 games he's played in this season for New Orleans, averaging 10.8 points, 5.5 rebounds and 7.5 assists per game. Really solid numbers for a role player, but not exactly All-Star material.
What is All-Star material, however, is the exclusive, and we are talking EXCLUSIVE group Payton joined on Monday with a wild stat in the Pelicans overtime win over the Dallas Mavericks. The former No. 10 overall pick scored 19 points, had 11 assists and grabbed 10 rebounds for his fifth consecutive triple double. That made him just the fifth player in NBA history to record a triple double in five straight games, an incredible accomplishment made all the more impressive when you see the other four players who have ever done it: Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain, Oscar Robertson and Russell Westbrook.
While Westbrook's career is far from over, I think we can already say that he'll be referred to as an NBA legend some day. And those other three names are arguably in the top 5 NBA players ever conversation. Joining them? Elfrid Payton! What a time to be alive. Let's look at Payton's last five games:
These are Rajon Rondo-esque triple doubles, and I'm a huge Rondo fan so I should love these too. But it's just an insane thought that Elfrid Payton is in a club that includes Wilt, MJ and Oscar. Good for him, and we'd love to see him keep it rolling. Also, bring back the hair. These triple doubles would look way better with that hairdo: