What Is A Double Double In Basketball?

What Is A Double Double In Basketball?

In basketball, there are many different terms and phrases used to describe different plays and actions. A double double in basketball is when a player scores at least 10 points and grabs at least 10 rebounds in a game. It’s considered a very good feat, and only a handful of players are able to achieve it on a regular basis. If you’re interested in learning more about this accomplishment, or just want to see some of the best double doubles in history, read on!

What Is A Double Double In Basketball

What Is A Double-Double In Basketball?

A double-double is when a player gets double digit totals in two of the five categories in basketball – points, rebounds, assists, blocks, and steals. It is considered a very good accomplishment, and only a handful of players manage to do it on a regular basis.

For example, if you score 10 points and grab 10 rebounds in a game, you have recorded a double-double. Double-doubles are often recorded by centers or power forwards who are able to both score and rebound well. 

Most NBA players strive for the coveted triple-double, which is when they achieve double digits in three different statistical categories. However, a double-double is still an impressive accomplishment.

There are several players in the NBA who have made it their specialty to rack up double-doubles. Some of the most notable are LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, and Giannis Antetokounmpo.

LeBron James has been one of the best players in the NBA for over a decade now. He is a four-time MVP and three-time NBA champion. He has double digit totals in points, rebounds, assists, and steals for his career which very few people can say they have done.

Russell Westbrook is one of the most explosive players in the league today. He is incredibly fast and still has not lost any of his strength. This season he is averaging 10 boards and 8 assists per game; pretty impressive considering that was enough to snag him the triple crown last season!

Giannis Antetokounmpo comes from Greece but plays for Milwaukee. He has only been in the league since 2013 but he’s creating quite a name for himself already with 8 points 9 boards, 1 block, and 1 steal per game.

The First Double-Double In Basketball?

The first recorded double-double happened in 1955 when Wilt Chamberlain scored 52 points and grabbed 32 rebounds. Chamberlain is considered by many to be the best player in basketball history, and he holds many other records as well. He is the only player to have ever scored 100 points in a single game, and he also holds the record for most rebounds in a career. Other players have since surpassed Chamberlain’s totals in one or more categories, but no one has matched his combination of skills quite as he did.

Five Main Statistical Categories that can be included in a double-double:

There are many other statistical categories that can be included in a double-double, but these are some of the most common ones: point, rebounds, assists, blocks, and steals. As you can see, it is not easy to achieve this accomplishment! It takes hard work and determination to be able to put up numbers in multiple categories each and every game. These five categories are the most important statistics in the NBA and are used to measure a player’s productivity. They are also the categories that are used to determine who wins Most Valuable Player (MVP) and Defensive Player of the Year (DPOY). 

Points

Points are scored by players when they make baskets. This is the most basic statistic in basketball and is used to measure how effective a player is offensive. This is the most basic measure of how well a player is doing offensively. Points are scored by either making shots from the field or free throws, or by taking the ball away from the other team and scoring on their end.

Rebounds

Rebounds are grabs of the ball off of missed shots, and they are an important statistic for players who play near the basket. Good rebounders can get extra possessions for their team and prevent the other team from scoring easily. 

Assists

An assist is given when a player passes to another player who then scores. It is usually awarded to the player who makes the last pass before the shot is taken, but there are sometimes disputes over this. 

Steals 

Steals are taken when a player steals the ball away from an opposing player. This is another important statistic for defenders, as it can give their team possession of the ball and stop the other team from scoring.

Blocks

Blocks are awarded when a player deflects or stops a shot from going into the basket. This is an important statistic for defenders, as it can prevent the other team from scoring easily. 

Types Of Double Doubles

There are a few different types of double doubles that players can achieve. Points and rebounds, points and assists, points and blocks, and points and steals are the most common.

Points and rebounds are probably the most common type of double double. This occurs when a player scores more than 10 points in a game and grabs more than 10 rebounds. Points and assists are pretty self-explanatory. This happens when a player has more than 10 points in a game and dishes out more than 10 assists. Another common type of double double is blocks and steals. When a player gets more than one steal or block in a game, it is considered a double-double.

Triples Doubles 

As mentioned before, a triple double is when a player achieves double digits in three different statistical categories. It is considered to be more difficult than a double double because it requires more skill and effort.

There are only a handful of players in the NBA who have ever achieved a triple double. The most notable are Oscar Robertson, Magic Johnson, Jason Kidd, Wilt Chamberlain, and LeBron James.

Oscar Robertson is the only player in NBA history to average a triple double for an entire season. He did this during the 1961-62 season. 

Magic Johnson was one of the most versatile players in the NBA and was able to achieve triple doubles relatively easily. He currently has the record for most career triple doubles with 138. 

Jason Kidd, Wilt Chamberlain and LeBron James also have triple doubles in their records. Kidd and James both achieved 20 or more triple doubles each which is a testament to how dominant they were during their careers.

Wilt Chamberlain holds the record for most career triple doubles as well with 138.

Quadruple Double

A quadruple double is when a player achieves double digits in all four categories. This has never happened before in NBA history and is unlikely to happen anytime soon if at all. 

Completing this task would require at least 10 points, 10 boards, 10 assists, and 10 blocks or steals. The player would have to be an elite defensive player that can score a lot of points while also being a great passer and rebounder. It may take years but it could also happen tomorrow by accident!

The most famous case where a quadruple double was almost achieved was when David Robinson got stuck on 9 rebounds during the 1994 season. He came up short even though he had 18 points, 10 assists, 8 steals, and 9 blocks! It was an impressive feat nonetheless.

There are a few players in the NBA who have come close to achieving a quadruple double. Andrei Kirilenko and Hakeem Olajuwon both had games where they registered 9 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists, and 9 blocks or steals. However, they were not able to achieve the tenth statistic in their respective categories which would have given them the quadruple double.

The closest any player has gotten to completing a quadruple double was when Russell Westbrook got stuck on 9 assists during the 2016 season. He came up short even though he had 21 points, 11 boards, 10 assists, and 9 steals! It was an impressive feat nonetheless.

Quintuple Double 

A quintuple double is even more rare than a quadruple double. In fact, it has never been accomplished in NBA history. This would require a player to achieve double digits in all five categories. 

Completing this task would require at least 10 points, 10 boards, 10 assists, 10 blocks, and 10 steals. The player would have to be an elite defensive player that can score a lot of points while also being a great passer and rebounder. It is so difficult to achieve that it may never happen in the NBA.

However, if there was ever a player who could come close to achieving this amazing feat, it would be LeBron James. He is already one of the most versatile players in the league and is capable of doing almost anything on the court. He has come close to a quintuple double on a few occasions but has never been able to achieve it.

It will be interesting to see if anyone ever accomplishes this seemingly impossible task in the NBA. Only time will tell!

Average Double Doubles 

While triple doubles and quadruple doubles are extremely rare, double doubles are much more common. In fact, most NBA players average a double double at some point in their careers. 

A doubledouble is when a player registers at least 10 points and 10 rebounds in a game. This has become more common in the NBA as teams have become more reliant on big men who can both score and rebound. 

There are many players in the NBA who have averaged a double double for their career. Some of the most notable are Karl Malone, Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, Tim Duncan, and Dirk Nowitzki. 

These players have all been dominant forces in the NBA and have helped their teams get to the playoffs numerous times. They were also some of the most reliable players in the NBA because they almost always registered a double double whether it was early in their career or later on down the line.

What Is A Double-Double In Basketball Examples:

  1. Andre Drummond, Detroit Pistons

Career Stats: 10.4 PPG, 10.6 RPG, 1.4 BPG

Andre Drummond is one of the most promising young centers in the NBA and has been a rising star for the Detroit Pistons. He proved his worth this year by helping his team reach the playoffs and have an average of 16 points and 16 rebounds per game during that stretch. Drummond is the only player in the league to average over 1 block and 1 steal per game while also collecting 10 or more rebounds. This makes him an excellent rebounder, defender, and all-around player for his team.

  1. Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz

Career Stats: 12.9 PPG, 8.9 RPG, 2.3 BPG

Rudy Gobert is one of the best defenders in the NBA and has been a key contributor to his team’s success. He averaged close to 14 points and 13 rebounds per game this year while also averaging 2 blocks per game which shows how tough he is to score on inside and why he is such a great defender. This year he helped the Jazz make their way into the playoffs for the first time in five years and earned himself third place in Defensive Player of The Year voting.

  1. Russell Westbrook, Houston Rockets

Career Stats: 21.9 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 10.3 APG

Russell Westbrook is a triple-double machine and one of the most exciting players to watch in the NBA. He averaged a triple-double for the second year in a row this year while leading his team to the playoffs. What makes him so special is that he is not just a scorer or rebounder, but also an excellent passer which makes him very difficult to stop. No player in NBA history has ever averaged a triple-double for more than two seasons, making Westbrook one of the most unique and talented players in the league.

  1. Blake Griffin, LA Clippers

Career Stats: 21.5 PPG, 9 RPG, 4 APG

Blake Griffin has been one of the best power forwards in the NBA for years now and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. He was a vital part of helping the LA Clippers become one of the top teams in their conference this year with averages of 24 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists per game. These numbers helped make him one of three finalists for MVP during this season (along with James Harden and Russell Westbrook). Griffin is an excellent scorer, rebounder, and passer, making him one of the most versatile players in the league.

  1. Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves

Career Stats: 18.3 PPG, 10.6 RPG, 1.5 BPG

Karl-Anthony Towns is the face of his young and promising Minnesota Timberwolves team that looks to be a serious contender in the NBA for years to come. He has been a dominant presence in the paint and averaged close to 28 points and 15 rebounds per game this year while also shooting over 40% from three and connecting on nearly 90% of his free throws which shows how versatile he is as a player. This makes him one of the best big men in the entire league because he can score inside with ease while also shooting like a guard outside. Without him, their team quite simply does not make it as far as they do.

Notice Things To Prevent A Double-Double:

When trying to prevent a player from getting a double-double, it is important to take into account several different factors.

Playing Time

Many players who average double-doubles are usually starters on their team. This is mainly because they are playing more minutes which allows them to accumulate the points and rebounds needed for a double-double.

Team’s Record

Another factor that increases the chances of getting a double-double is the team’s record. The better the team, the more opportunities there will be for both scoring and rebounding which increase the odds of achieving a double-double. This is why it is harder for role players to get them because they don’t have as many opportunities as other starting players do even though they could be just as productive in terms of scoring or rebounding if given enough opportunities. 

Individual Effort vs Team Effort

A player’s ability to get a double-double can also depend on the team’s overall effort on both ends of the court. If the team is playing great defensively and limiting their opponents’ scoring opportunities, it will be harder for anyone player to get a lot of rebounds. On the other hand, if the opponents are scoring at will, that gives more opportunities for players to grab rebounds and get points. 

So while having individual effort is definitely a requirement for getting a double-double, it is not the only factor that determines whether or not it will happen. There are many things that go into it such as playing time, team’s record, and opposing defense that all play a role in whether or not a player can achieve a double-double.

Basketball IQ

In addition to the things mentioned above, having a high basketball IQ is also important for getting a double-double. This means being able to see the open man and make the correct pass, knowing when to shoot and when to pass, as well as being able to grab rebounds in traffic. Players who are able to do all of these things effectively usually have an easier time getting a double-double.

So while it is not impossible for players who don’t fit into any of these categories to get a double-double, it is definitely harder for them to do so. The three players that were mentioned earlier are prime examples of how it can be done if you have the individual effort, IQ, and opportunity. They have all been able to achieve a double-double multiple times throughout their careers and show no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

Work Ethic 

Lastly, another thing that is important for players aspiring to get a double-double is having a great work ethic. This means being constantly active on the court and trying to get as many rebounds or points as possible. While some players may be naturally gifted at scoring and rebounding, they still need to put in the effort in order to achieve consistent success. So if you’re someone who wants to get a double-double, make sure you have a strong work ethic and always give it your best effort on the court.

Greatest Double-Double Performances Of All-Time

Scott Skiles 

Now that we know some of the things that go into getting a double-double, let’s take a look at some of the greatest performances of all time. The player who comes to mind first is Scott Skiles who had a game in 1990 against the Denver Nuggets in which he recorded 30 points, 19 rebounds, and 17 assists. This is still an NBA record for most assists in a triple-double and was an impressive feat even at the time.

Wilt Chamberlain

I am sure that some of you are thinking about Wilt Chamberlain at this point, and if not you probably should be. He too has a record for most triple-doubles in NBA history with 78! This is due to the fact that he was an extremely versatile player who averaged 30+ points per game on 10+ rebounds per game throughout his career. 

There are actually several games where Chamberlain recorded 20 or more points, rebounds, and assists but the most impressive of them all was his 50 point, 32 rebounds, and 14 assist performance against the Philadelphia Warriors on January 28th, 1960. His high level of efficiency is also something that makes him one of the greatest players ever because he shot nearly 65% from the field on average which is unheard of even in today’s NBA.

Russell Westbrook

Now, I know that a lot of you are probably thinking that I left out the reigning MVP and current triple-double king Russell Westbrook. And you would be right, but only because his triple-doubles come at a much higher frequency than anyone else on this list. He has 27 this season (at the time of writing) which is a new record and shows no signs of slowing down. 

But despite the high number, not all of Westbrook’s triple-doubles are created equal. For example, his 20 points, 20 rebounds, 21 assist performance against the Phoenix Suns on March 22 doesn’t really stack up to some of the other players on this list in terms of impact on the game. That being said, he is still extremely impressive and deserves to be recognized for his amazing season.

Elgin Baylor

Last but not least, we have Elgin Baylor who is often forgotten about when talking about triple-doubles. This is due to the fact that he only had 22 in his career which is significantly lower than the other players on this list. 

However, what Baylor lacked in quantity he made up for in quality. His best performance came on November 14th, 1960 where he recorded 41 points, 18 rebounds, and 11 assists against the Detroit Pistons. This game was so impressive that it is still the second highest scoring triple-double of all time! 

Baylor’s overall career wasn’t as flashy as some of the other players on this list, but his longevity and consistency make him one of the greatest players to ever play the game.

Michael Jordan

There is no doubt that Michael Jordan is one of the greatest players to ever play the game, but does that make him the best triple-double player of all time? His career total of 10 definitely doesn’t stack up to some of the other players on this list, but his average of one triple-double every 16 games is still extremely impressive. 

He also has several games where he recorded more than 20 points, rebounds, and assists which is a testament to his skill and versatility as a player. His most impressive performance came on March 28th, 1989 where he recorded 29 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists against the Milwaukee Bucks. This game was so impressive that it is still the third highest scoring triple-double of all time!

Magic Johnson

Moving onto Magic Johnson who is probably the greatest point guard to ever play the game. His career total of 138 triple-doubles which is by far the most in NBA history, but what makes him so impressive is his diversity as a player. This can be seen through his four highest scoring triple-doubles where he recorded 21, 23, 24, and 29 points respectively. 

His best performance came on February 18th, 1981 against the Denver Nuggets where he had 23 points, 17 rebounds, and 16 assists. Johnson’s diversity as a player combined with his sheer dominance is why this man deserves to have “Triple Double King” next to his name. 

Kevin Love

And now back down to earth with current Timberwolves player Kevin Love. He may not be at the same levels as some of these players, but his average of one triple-double every 11 games is still extremely impressive. 

His best performance comes from a game on March 2nd, 2010 against the Sacramento Kings where he recorded 31 points, 23 rebounds, and 10 assists. This was good enough for fourth highest scoring triple-double which says something about Love’s dominance during this game! Expect to hear more from him in the future!

Jerry West

After that amazing feat by Jerry West it is now time to look at the man who now holds second place for career total triple-doubles, Russell Westbrook. His current total of 54 may not seem as impressive as some of the others on this list, but Westbrook is still in the early stages of his career. 

What’s even more impressive is that he is averaging one triple-double every 14 games which is just a shade behind Michael Jordan’s record! 

Westbrook’s best performance came on April 9th, 2017 against the Denver Nuggets where he recorded 51 points, 13 rebounds, and 10 assists. This game was so dominant that it set a new NBA record for most points scored in a triple-double! So make sure to watch out for Westbrook in the future as he looks to break more records!

Karl Malone

And now we’re on to the second place for career total triple-doubles, Magic Johnson. At 138 total triple-doubles, he is the only player other than Oscar Robertson who has over 100. His diversity as a player and longevity make him one of the best players ever, but what makes him most impressive is his incredible longevity with an average of one triple-double every 18 games! 

His best performance comes from a game against the Utah Jazz on February 2nd, 1990 where he recorded 28 points, 13 rebounds, and 13 assists. This is not only Magic’s highest scoring triple double but also gives him a third place as the most highest scoring in a triple-double! 

The Big O

As mentioned earlier, The Big O has the record for most triple-doubles in NBA history with 41. This impressive feat is even more astonishing when you consider that he was able to accomplish that in just 79 games! As if that wasn’t enough, his last triple-double came during his rookie season where he tallied 11 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists against the New York Knicks on February 17. He averaged 30.8 points per game that season which definitely helped him get there but still shows how dominant he was as a versatile player with high IQ and basketball knowledge.

Oscar Robertson

We’re now onto the player who is most famous for his triple-doubles as well as having the highest career total. Oscar Robertson has 181 triple-doubles which stands alone in the first place. His ability to do it all on a basketball court combined with longevity make him one of the greatest players ever, and an obvious choice for number one on this list. 

Robertson’s best performance comes from his 56 points, 14 rebounds, 12 assist tour-de-force against the Philadelphia Warriors where he was obviously inspired by Chamberlain’s incredible 100 point game! So there you have it, the five greatest triple-double performers of all time in order from fifth all the way down to number 1!

Barkley vs Hakeem Olajuwon

Another impressive performance was Charles Barkley’s against the Houston Rockets in 1993. He recorded 38 points, 24 rebounds, and 10 assists which is tied with Larry Bird for most career triple-doubles with a whopping 5! This game solidified Barkley as one of the greatest rebounders of all time because he completely outplayed his former teammate Hakeem Olajuwon who is known as one of the best centers to have ever played. 

 

FAQs

Why Is A Double Double Important?

A double-double is important because it shows that a player is versatile and can contribute in multiple ways. It also means that the player is reliable and can be counted on to produce in big moments.

triple-double is even more impressive, but a double-double is still a very respectable accomplishment.

Players work hard to achieve double-doubles because they are not easy feats to accomplish. It takes a lot of energy and effort to put up numbers in two different statistical categories. That’s why players who routinely achieve double-doubles are considered some of the best in the business.

Who Has The Most Double-Doubles In NBA History?

In the NBA, there are many players who have impressive stats. However, one statistic that is often overlooked is the number of double-doubles a player has. This is simply when a player gets double digits in two separate statistics during a game. So who currently holds the record for most double-doubles in NBA history?

The current record holder is Lakers legend and Hall of Famer Karl Malone with 1,476 career double-doubles. This is an incredible achievement, as it means that Malone was able to achieve this statistic in over 1,400 games! To put this into perspective, the current record holder for most consecutive games with a double-double is Russell Westbrook with 46 straight games. If he were able to play in all 82 games this season, Westbrook would only have 647 career double-doubles.

Westbrook is putting up impressive numbers this season, averaging 10.6 rebounds per game. This has moved his career average up to 8.0 rebounds per game meaning that if he sustains this for another few seasons then he could have a shot at overtaking Malone in terms of current record holders! So who else is close?

Well, there are currently six active players with over 500 career double-doubles: Dwight Howard (803), Pau Gasol (742), Kevin Love (718), Al Horford (694), DeAndre Jordan (679), and Chris Bosh (543).

What Was The Longest Double-Double Streak?

In the NBA, there are many impressive streaks. From most consecutive games scoring in double figures to most consecutive games with a triple-double, the list goes on and on. However, one streak that is often overlooked is the longest double-double streak. So who currently holds the record for longest double-double streak?

The current record holder is Lakers legend and Hall of Famer Karl Malone with 20 straight games. This means that Malone was able to achieve this statistic over a period of 20 games! To put this into perspective, the current record holder for most consecutive games with a double-double is Russell Westbrook with 46 straight games. If he were to play in all 82 games this season, Westbrook would only have 26 more consecutive games to break Malone’s record.

Who Was The Oldest Player To Get A Double-Double?

Another impressive record that is held by Karl Malone is the oldest player to get a double-double. Malone was able to achieve this at the ripe age of 40 years and 111 days old! This means that Malone was able to achieve this statistic in over 1,400 games! To put this into perspective, the current record holder for most consecutive games with a double-double is Russell Westbrook with 46 straight games. If he were to play in all 82 games this season, Westbrook would only have 26 more consecutive games to break Malone’s record.

Who Was The Youngest Player To Get A Double-Double?

In today’s NBA, there are many impressive young talents. For example, Joel Embiid who is able to achieve 20 rebounds in only 22 minutes on the court! Despite this, there is still a record for the youngest player to get a double-double and he currently holds it!

The current record holder is Lakers legend and Hall of Famer Magic Johnson with 18 years and 107 days old. This means that Magic was able to achieve this statistic in his debut game which was against the Portland Trail Blazers! He scored six points and made 10 assists in 28 minutes of play time during his debut. However, since his debut ended in victory (the Lakers won 130- 123) what could have been if Magic was unsuccessful?

Who Had The Most Double-Doubles In A Season?

In the NBA, there are many impressive records. One such record is most double-doubles in a season. However, this record has only been achieved by two players: Wilt Chamberlain (41) and Russell Westbrook (42). This shows how difficult it is to achieve the feat as only two players have ever managed it!

What Was The Difference Between First And Second Place?

The difference between first and second place was relatively small as the margin of error for Westbrook’s performance is one assist or rebound less than first place. This means that if Westbrook had finished with just seven assists and rebounds on the night then he would not hold this record!

How Many Players Have Ever Had A Triple-Double?

In the NBA, there are many impressive streaks. From most consecutive games scoring in double figures to most consecutive games with a triple-double, the list goes on and on. However, one streak that is often overlooked is the longest double-double streak. So who currently holds the record for longest double-double streak?

To answer this question, we must first ask how many players have ever achieved a triple-double? The answer is quite simple as it is currently held by 18 players! This means that out of the 1,230 players that have played in an NBA game, only 18 of them have been able to achieve a triple-double. This statistic just goes to show how difficult it is to achieve this feat!

How Common Are Double-Doubles?

The term “double-double” may sound impressive but how common is this in the NBA? To answer this question, we must first look at the top 10 highest scorers of all time. Out of these players, only one player has never achieved a double-double throughout his entire career! This means that despite having played 1,446 games for nine different teams and finishing with 26,711 points throughout his career, only Oscar Robertson never reached 20+ points and rebounds in a game!

Surprisingly though, there are some current players who have never achieved the feat either which is surprising considering they’ve had more than 871 games to do so! The current record holders for most consecutive games without recording a double-double are Kobe Bryant and LeBron James who both have streaks of over 400 games! So, out of the top 10 highest scorers of all time, only one has never achieved a double-double and only two players currently playing have never had a double-double!

So, in conclusion, while a double-double may seem like an impressive statistic, it is actually quite common in the NBA. Out of the top 10 highest scorers of all time, only one has never achieved the feat and only two players currently playing have never had a double-double. This just goes to show how difficult it is to achieve this statistic!

Conclusion 

The double-double is a pretty rare feat in basketball. It’s when someone gets at least 10 points and rebounds for the game to be worth two digits on the stat sheet, which means they had 20 total points and 10 total rebounds in one outing. Not many players have accomplished this high level of dominance in today’s NBA, but we can still marvel at those who do! Who are some of your favorite past or present players that could get a basket with ease? This post provides you with all information about that.

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