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What is a Triple Double in Basketball?

Triple-doubles are defined as stat lines containing at least 10 points, rebounds, and assists – it is less frequent for players to achieve triple-doubles in other categories like steals or blocks.

Players with great skill can often record triple-doubles. Their leadership inspires teammates and helps lead them toward victory.


Triple-doubles occur when players record 10+ points in any three major statistical categories in one game – usually points, rebounds, and assists; however, it’s also possible for other types, like steals or blocks, to record double-digit numbers as well.

Used to be, when an NBA player recorded a triple-double, it would make headlines everywhere and spark widespread conversations about it. However, triple-doubles seem more prevalent than ever, and many people are left questioning why triple-doubles are becoming so much more frequent today compared to 10 years ago.

The primary explanation for this phenomenon lies within the game itself, precisely its increasing speed, as evidenced by the increased pace of NBA games over recent seasons. More possessions mean greater chances for stat accumulation within each game and, consequently, increased player scores.

Another factor is the growing ubiquity of multi-talented players, especially foreign players. Giannis Antetokounmpo and Luka Doncic possess extraordinary shooting abilities and ball handling, making scoring, rebounding, and passing easier for them than ever. Furthermore, young players appear more confident than ever before, which can lead to more successful triple-doubles.


A triple-double in basketball occurs when a player records double-digit numbers in three major statistical categories: points, rebounds, assists, and steals. Most often, this takes the form of scoring double figures while also contributing to issues or helps or steals/rebounds; other combinations might include cutting two of these stats or blocking an opponent at least once with 10 assists handed out. Magic Johnson was the only person ever to achieve such a fantastic feat!

The number of triple-doubles is rising in basketball due to today’s fast-paced, skill-based NBA game. Many players now possess enough versatility to fill various positions on the court – for instance, point guards who also play shooting guard and small forward. Furthermore, we see power forwards and big men with good passing skills who can rack up more assists for increased assist totals.

While some might argue that the NBA is currently experiencing its “Golden Age of Triple-Doubles,” other critics point out that it focuses too much on individual statistics over team success. Winning is paramount when it comes to basketball – this holds at every level, from youth leagues up to professional associations such as NBA.

As well as an increase in pace, triple-doubles in the NBA are being generated due to more versatile and talented players such as Russell Westbrook and James Harden, who possess both scoring and passing capabilities, along with size and basketball smarts to become effective rebounders – this combination makes them very difficult for opponents to defend thus leading them to accrue numerous assists and rebounds.


The triple-double is achieved when a player scores double-digit numbers in three different statistical categories, such as points, rebounds, or assists, but can also include steals or blocked shots. Andy Phillip of the Philadelphia Warriors made history in 1950 by scoring 53 points against Fort Wayne Pistons to become the first-ever triple-double.

Triple-doubles have become more frequent since the advent of basketball’s modern era. Triple-doubles were once rare occurrences; now someone seems to reach this stat line every night! Some attribute this trend to increased NBA possessions per team averaging, though other factors could explain its prevalence as well.

Today’s players are more well-rounded and possess more excellent abilities than in past eras, as evidenced by Luka Doncic and Giannis Antetokounmpo’s success at representing their respective countries abroad. Furthermore, their rise as international stars (such as Doncic and Antetokounmpo) proves teams seek versatile individuals on the court who can perform multiple functions.

Triple-doubles are an impressive way to demonstrate a team’s dominance on the court and one of the many reasons fans love watching NBA games. No matter your team of choice – Boston Celtics or Oklahoma City Thunder – seeing someone achieve such a feat is always exciting, while seeing it happen during an important game such as an NBA finals matchup or All-Star game is even more so!


Russell Westbrook, Magic Johnson, Chelsea Gray, and Courtney Vandersloot are all highly talented basketball players who have accomplished something extraordinary in the NBA: a triple-double.

A triple-double is earned when a player reaches double figures in three main basketball statistics categories: points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks. The most frequently seen triple-double combination is points, rebounds, and helps; however, there have been rare instances of players reaching this mark by hitting points, rebounds, blocked shots or points, rebounds, and steals, respectively.

The NBA began tracking triple-doubles officially during the 1979-80 season; however, triple-doubles had existed much earlier. Harvey Pollack of the Philadelphia 76ers and Brue Jolesch, public relations director of Los Angeles Lakers, are credited as coining this term.

Today’s fast-paced NBA game, where scoring is key, leads more players than ever to record triple-doubles. One factor may be more skilled basketball players, thus making it easier to tally these impressive stats.

Another contributing factor is that modern basketball does not necessitate much defense, enabling players to quickly rack up double-digit totals in point, rebound and assist categories.

Since it’s still uncommon for a player to reach double figures in other statistics such as steals and blocks, some teammates have called players who achieve such feats “five-by-fives.” Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors achieved such a feat last year when he achieved 13 points, 19 rebounds, and ten steals!


Triple-doubles typically involve scoring, rebounding, and dishing out assists; however, players can also achieve the feat with blocks or steals as part of a triple-double performance. To reach that feat with blocks/steals, players need at least ten combined blocks/steals within one game; additionally, these cannot count toward turnovers totals.

Hakeem Olajuwon of the Seattle SuperSonics was the first to record a triple-double with blocks in February 1991, followed by several other players, such as Atlanta Hawks’ Clint Capela, in January 2021.

Triple-doubles with blocks are more challenging for players than points or rebounds. This is likely because being successful at both ends of the court is essential to attain such an achievement. Many consider triple-doubling with blocks as an awe-inspiring accomplishment.

However, despite their difficulty, triple-doubles with blocks remain relatively rare in the NBA. Only 11 times have ever occurred during NBA history! Some critics assert that its value may be exaggerated and that more relevant statistics, such as team wins and advanced metrics, should take precedence over individual performance.

Today’s WONDER of the day was inspired by Daniel, who asked what it means to achieve a triple-double in basketball. We hope this has answered his query; for more information about the NBA, check out our selection of authentic jerseys.