Basketball is a sport with many different statistics to keep track of, but one of the most impressive feats a player can achieve is a triple-double.

A triple-double is when a player records double digits in three of the five key statistical categories in the game: points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks.

In this blog post, we will discuss what a triple-double is, the criteria for achieving it, some real-life examples, and players who are known for their remarkable triple-double achievements.

So, if you are a basketball enthusiast looking to gain a deeper understanding of the game's key stats, read on!

Understanding the Five Major Statistical Categories in Basketball

Before delving into the concept of a triple-double, it's essential first to understand the five key statistical categories in basketball. The five categories are points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks.

Points are pretty self-explanatory, referring to the number of baskets made during the game. Rebounds are the number of times a player retrieves the ball after a missed shot.

An assist is when a player passes the ball to a teammate who scores a basket. Steals occur when a player takes the ball from an opposing player, and blocks happen when a player stops an opposing player from scoring by knocking away their shot.

Defining a Triple Double in Basketball: The Criteria

Now that we know the key statistical categories let's discuss the criteria for achieving a triple-double. To record a triple-double, a player must have double-digit scores in three different categories during one game.

For example, a player who scores 10 points, has 11 rebounds, and 10 assists would have achieved a triple-double in that game.

It's important to note that only five categories are recognized for triple-doubles, so if a player has ten steals or ten blocked shots, it's still only counted as one category toward a triple-double.

Real Game Examples of Triple Doubles in Action

Triple-doubles are quite rare occurrences in basketball, but they do happen, and they are impressive when they do.

One example of an exciting triple-double game was in 2014, when NBA player, Russell Westbrook recorded a triple-double with 31 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists, helping his team win over the Miami Heat.

Another notable game was in 2017 when James Harden achieved a triple-double of 35 points, 11 rebounds, and 13 assists. These are just two examples out of many remarkable games where players achieved this impressive feat.

The Rarity of Triple Doubles in Professional Basketball Games

As mentioned earlier, a triple-double is quite a rare feat in basketball. In a league of over 400 players, only a handful of players achieve a triple-double each season.

The unpredictability of game performances adds to the excitement of the sport, and when a triple-double is achieved, it's often celebrated widely by fans.

This makes it even more impressive when a player can consistently achieve triple-doubles throughout their career.

Celebrating Players Known for Achieving Triple Doubles

There are many basketball players known for their ability to achieve triple-doubles. Some of the most famous players include Russell Westbrook, LeBron James, James Harden, and Oscar Robertson, who was the first player to average a triple-double over an entire season in 1962.

Russell Westbrook, who holds the record for most career triple-doubles in NBA history is often considered the king of triple-doubles, having achieved them an impressive 198 times in his career. (by today, 29 July 2023)

It's clear that achieving triple-doubles is no small feat and requires special skills and dedication.

Distinguishing Between a Double Double and a Triple Double

It's essential to differentiate a double-double (achieving double digits in two of the five categories) from a triple-double. Although a double-double is still a great achievement, it's not as remarkable as a triple-double.

Still, it does reflect a player's ability to contribute to their team's success in multiple ways. It's not uncommon for players to achieve triple-doubles after already recording a double-double in the game.


In conclusion, a triple-double is a rare and impressive achievement in professional basketball. To achieve a triple-double, a player must record double-digit figures in three of the five major statistical categories during a single game.

While this feat requires exceptional skill, strategy, and a bit of luck, there are several NBA players throughout history who have accomplished it, including LeBron James, Magic Johnson, and Russell Westbrook.

Furthermore, it is important to remember that while a double-double is an impressive feat in its own right, it cannot compare with the glory of a triple-double.

For this reason, increasing numbers of players are dedicating themselves to perfecting their skills and striving for triple-doubles in every game. By doing so, they are creating some of the most remarkable moments in sports history.

This is why a triple-double is such an important achievement in basketball and will continue to be celebrated for years to come.

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