What is a Triple Double in Basketball? A Comprehensive Guide

Scritto da: Chris Hungerford



Tempo di lettura 10 min

What is a Triple Double in Basketball?

Hey there, basketball fans. Today, we're going to talk about one of the most impressive feats in the game - the triple-double.

A triple-double is achieved by a player who scores 10 or more points in three out of the five major statistical categories during one game. These categories include points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks.

Now, you might be wondering why a triple-double is such a big deal. Well, it's because it showcases a player's versatility on the court. A player who can contribute to their team's success in multiple ways - scoring baskets, grabbing rebounds, dishing out assists, and even swiping steals or blocking shots - is a valuable asset to any team.

But how does a triple-double compare to another popular term - the double-double? A double-double is achieved when a player reaches 10 or more points in two of the five major statistical categories during one game. While still an impressive feat, it's not as rare as a triple-double.

Examples from NBA Legends

Over the years, the NBA has seen some truly remarkable players achieve the triple-double milestone. Let's take a look at some legendary examples:

  • Oscar Robertson holds the record for the most career triple-doubles with 181.
  • Russell Westbrook broke the single-season triple-double record in 2016-17, racking up an astonishing 42 of them.

These are just a few examples of how exceptional players can achieve this rare and prestigious accomplishment.

So, the next time you're watching a basketball game, keep an eye out for potential triple-doubles - they're truly something to celebrate.

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Who Are Some Notable Players to Achieve a Triple Double?

Alright, let's dive into the world of NBA history and take a look at some legendary players who have achieved triple-doubles.

These athletes not only scored points but also contributed significantly to other aspects of the game, making them true all-rounders.

Are you ready? Let's go.

LeBron James

The King himself, LeBron James, has made his mark on NBA history with numerous triple-doubles throughout his career.

This remarkable player is renowned for his astounding scoring talent, as well as his aptitude for setting up plays and snatching rebounds.

Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook, another powerhouse in the league, holds the record for the most triple-doubles in a single season (42).

In fact, he even averaged a triple-double over three consecutive seasons - talk about consistency.

Oscar Robertson

Moving back in time to one of basketball's pioneers: Oscar Robertson, aka 'The Big O.'

Oscar was the first player to average a triple-double for an entire season, showcasing his incredible skills in the early days of the NBA.

Magic Johnson

Another legend on our list is Magic Johnson, who was known for his exceptional court vision and passing ability.

Magic's versatility as a point guard allowed him to rack up numerous triple-doubles throughout his illustrious career.

Wilt Chamberlain

Last but not least, we have Wilt Chamberlain, one of the most dominant centers in NBA history.

While Wilt is best known for scoring 100 points in a single game, he also achieved multiple triple-doubles during his time on the court - proving that even big men can be versatile.

These players are just a few examples of those who have reached this impressive milestone in their careers. Achieving a triple-double requires skill, determination, and teamwork - qualities that every young basketball player should strive to develop.

Key Takeaway: 

The article discusses notable basketball players who have achieved a triple-double, which is when a player scores at least ten points in three statistical categories (points, rebounds, assists, steals, or blocks) during a single game. Players such as LeBron James and Russell Westbrook are highlighted for their impressive achievements and all-around skills on the court. The article emphasizes that achieving a triple-double requires skill, determination, and teamwork.

How Often Do Players Achieve a Triple Double?

Triple doubles are like shooting stars in the basketball world - rare, fascinating, and always worth talking about. In NBA history, these elusive feats occur approximately once every two games on average. However, before you start expecting your favorite player to pull off triple doubles left and right, let's dive deeper into the numbers.

The Rarity of Triple Doubles

The frequency of triple doubles varies greatly depending on the era and individual players' abilities. For instance, during Oscar Robertson's heyday in the 1960s, he made it look easy by averaging a triple double for an entire season. In contrast, some seasons see only a handful of them throughout hundreds of games played league-wide.

Factors Affecting Frequency

  • Athleticism: The more athletic and versatile a player is, the higher their chances are at achieving this milestone.
  • Playing Style: Teams that emphasize ball movement increase opportunities for assists while those with strong rebounders can help create second-chance points or fast breaks leading to potential triple-double performances from teammates.
  • Roster Composition: If one player dominates all aspects of play (think LeBron James), they're more likely to achieve frequent triple-doubles than someone who shares responsibilities with other talented teammates.

Famous Examples:

  • Russell Westbrook's historic 2016-17 season, in which he broke the record for most triple-doubles in a single season with 42.
  • LeBron James has made history by achieving a triple-double total of more than 100, putting him in the exclusive club of only five players to have ever reached that benchmark.

In conclusion, while it's true that triple-doubles are relatively rare occurrences in basketball games, they're not entirely unattainable feats for talented and versatile players. So next time you watch your favorite team play or cheer on your child at their game, keep an eye out for those magical moments when a player is just one assist or rebound away from achieving this incredible milestone.

Key Takeaway: 

Triple doubles in basketball are rare but achievable feats that occur approximately once every two games on average. The frequency of triple-doubles varies depending on factors such as athleticism, playing style, and roster composition. Examples include Russell Westbrook's historic 2016-17 season with the most triple-doubles in a single season and LeBron James' career total of over 100 triple-doubles.

What Are Triple Doubles in Basketball?

Triple doubles in basketball refer to a player's ability to record double-digit numbers in three statistical categories during a single game. These categories are usually points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks.

Triple doubles are a rare occurrence in basketball and are considered a significant achievement for any player who can accomplish them.

What Are the Benefits of Achieving a Triple Double?

Achieving a triple-double in basketball is no small feat. Achieving a triple-double in basketball is an extraordinary display of skill and talent, highlighting the player's capacity to make substantial contributions across multiple facets of the game. But what are the specific benefits of reaching this impressive milestone?

Increased Recognition:

Triple-doubles often make headlines, drawing attention to players who might otherwise fly under the radar. NBA history has seen many greats achieve this remarkable stat line, further solidifying their status as elite athletes.

Better Team Performance:

A player achieving a triple-double typically means they're contributing heavily on both ends of the court - scoring points, grabbing rebounds, and dishing out assists (or accumulating steals/blocks). Studies have shown that teams with players recording triple-doubles tend to perform better overall.

Increased Chances for Individual Awards:

The more triple-doubles a player racks up during their career or season, the higher their chances are for receiving individual accolades such as MVP awards or All-Star selections.

How Can Parents Encourage Their Young Athletes To Aim For Triple Doubles?

As a parent, you can help your young basketballer acquire the abilities needed to accomplish triple-doubles by offering support.

  •  Encourage Versatility: Promote well-roundedness by encouraging your child to work on all aspects of their game - not just scoring points.
  • Teach the Importance of Teamwork: Talk about how achieving a triple-double often requires great teamwork and selflessness, emphasizing that it's not just about individual success but also contributing to team victories.
  • Share Examples of Great Players: Share examples of great players who have made their mark with triple-doubles and explain how these athletes used their diverse skill sets to excel at the highest level.

Note: The road to achieving a triple-double is challenging, so remember always to support and encourage your young athlete as they strive for greatness.

Key Takeaway: 

Triple-doubles in basketball occur when a player records double-digit numbers in three statistical categories during a single game, such as points, rebounds, assists, steals, or blocks. Achieving this feat is considered significant and can increase recognition for the player while also benefiting team performance and increasing chances for individual awards. Parents can encourage their young athletes to aim for triple-doubles by promoting versatility, emphasizing teamwork, and sharing examples of great players who have achieved this impressive milestone.

What Strategies Can Help Players Achieve a Triple Double in Basketball?

So, you want to master the art of achieving a triple double in basketball? Great. Let's dive into some strategies that can help players reach this impressive milestone on the court.

Focusing on Rebounding and Passing

To maximize your potential of getting a triple-double, honing in on rebounding and passing is imperative.

Rebounding is crucial because it allows you to rack up those much-needed boards while also giving your team extra possessions. Check out these tips on improving your rebounding skills.

Moving onto passing - being an excellent passer not only helps with assists but also makes you a valuable asset to your team as a playmaker. Here are some passing drills that will elevate your game.

Selective Shot Taking

Achieving a triple double means scoring at least 10 points, so make sure you're taking high-percentage shots when opportunities arise.

This includes layups, open jumpers, and free throws - all great ways to boost your point total without jeopardizing efficiency or shot selection.

Active Defense

Racking up steals and blocks is another way players can achieve a triple double; hence active defense should be prioritized during games. These tips will help you become a more disruptive force on the court.

Playing with Unselfish Teammates

Last but not least, having teammates who are willing to share the ball is crucial for reaching triple-double status.

An unselfish team culture encourages players to work together and make plays that benefit everyone - including those aiming for triple-doubles.

Incorporate these strategies into your game, and you'll be well on your way to achieving this remarkable feat in basketball. For more information on triple-doubles and NBA history, check out NBA stats.

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FAQs in Relation to What is a Triple Double in Basketball?

What is a Triple Double in Basketball?

A triple-double is a term used in basketball to describe a player's performance in a game or over a season. It means that a player has recorded double-digit numbers in three of the five statistical categories: points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks.

Does any NBA player average a triple-double?

Yes, Oklahoma City Thunder's Russell Westbrook is the only NBA player to have averaged a triple-double for an entire season. He achieved this feat in both the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons. Oscar Robertson also came close in the 1961-62 season with averages of 30.8 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 11.4 assists per game.

What are examples of triple doubles in basketball?

A few notable examples of triple-doubles include:

  • Magic Johnson - In Game 6 of the 1980 NBA Finals, he recorded an impressive stat line: 42 points, 15 rebounds, and seven assists.
  • Russell Westbrook - On April 9th, 2017 against Denver Nuggets, he had one of his most memorable games with stats like: 50 points, 16 rebounds, and ten assists.
  • Nikola Jokic - The Serbian center posted a rare 20-point-triple-double: 35 points along with 12 rebounds and 11 assists on February 15th, 2021 against Sacramento Kings.

How hard is it to get a triple-double in basketball?

Getting a triple-double is quite challenging, as it requires a player to excel in multiple aspects of the game. It demands versatility and consistency across scoring, rebounding, and assisting. Only elite players with well-rounded skill sets can achieve this feat regularly. As of March 2021, there have been 5,400+ recorded triple-doubles in NBA history.

Triple Double, Basketball, Comprehensive Guide


In the world of basketball, a rare and remarkable feat known as a triple-double takes place when a player manages to achieve double-digit figures in three different statistical categories during a single game. These categories often include points scored, rebounds grabbed and assists made. This comprehensive guide aims to explore the intriguing history, significant impact, and notable examples of triple-doubles in basketball, providing valuable insights into this impressive accomplishment.

Triple-doubles have become a symbol of exceptional skill, versatility, and all-around dominance on the basketball court.

 Achieving a triple-double requires not only scoring points but also actively contributing to the team's rebounding efforts and facilitating the offense through assists. It showcases a player's ability to excel in multiple aspects of the game and demonstrates their versatility, court vision, and basketball IQ.

Throughout the history of basketball, the occurrence of triple-doubles has been relatively rare, highlighting their

 significance. Few players have managed to consistently achieve this feat, making it a notable accomplishment in any player's career. Legends of the game, such as Magic Johnson, Oscar Robertson, and Jason Kidd, have left an indelible mark with their numerous triple-double performances, showcasing their immense talent and impact on the court.

Triple-doubles not only captivate fans but also serve as milestones that shape the narrative of a game. They often signal exceptional performances and frequently lead to victories for the player's team. As a result, these achievements have garnered significant attention and appreciation from basketball enthusiasts worldwide.

Whether you are a devoted basketball aficionado or a newcomer to the sport, this comprehensive guide will undoubtedly enrich your understanding of the triple-double phenomenon. By delving into its historical context, exploring its significance, and presenting remarkable examples, this guide aims to provide a deeper appreciation for the skill and impact of players who achieve this extraordinary feat. Prepare to be enthralled by the allure and excitement surrounding the triple-double and gain a newfound perspective on its profound impact on the game of basketball.

Triple Double, Basketball, Comprehensive Guide

Triple Double, Basketball, Comprehensive Guide.