What is a Triple Double in Basketball?

If you have ever followed NBA basketball, you’ve perhaps heard the term “Triple-double in Basketball.” however, if you have never happened to know about this term, there’s no need to be upset.

I am here to guide you on everything about basketball. However, suppose you are familiar with this term. In that case, the article is also quite informative for you, because along with the definition.

I have covered some surprising facts and some useful information that may help you in your basketball career. Although basketball is usually a game of figures in which the player’s execution is measured by the scoring he makes.

However, this scoring is categorized into several sorts, such as rebounds, blocked shots, assists, steals, and scored points. The more you score, the more probabilities you have to win. But, this isn’t it! Basketball is a game that is beyond scoring.

If a player is playing this game for more than just scoring, he would have a great chance to achieve a triple-double in basketball. But what precisely is this term? Let’s begin our article with its definition and how does it work.

Triple-double in Basketball

A triple-double is one of the most inspiring deeds that a player hardly can achieve on the court in a single game.

Yet, it can be defined as a feat when a player reaches double figures in any three of the five statistical categories; rebounds, blocked shots, assists, steals, and scored points.

However, the most common classes to make double digits include assists scored points, and rebounds. Yet, reaching double figures with blocked shots or steals is quite challenging for most of the players.

Pro Tip: To achieve a triple-double, you must score a number of double-digit in at least three stats in basketball.

How to Get Triple-double?

As discussed earlier, five significant basketball statistics are followed by the players in every basketball league. Among these five categories, assist is the oldest sort, followed since the 1946 – 1947 season.

However, later on, blocked shots and steals were introduced in the 1973 – 1974 season. Anyway, a player can get a triple-double in basketball by simply scoring a double-figure point such as ten or more in any of three stats in a single session of the game.

The most common triple-double stats seen mostly are rebounds, assists, and points. But it is not obvious that the other two categories are too hard to get triple-doubles. Thus only a few have made triple-doubles on steals and blocks.

Hassan Whiteside has recorded a total of four triple-doubles, and all of them were a series of rebounds, blocked shots, and points.

Triple-doubles in NBA

In the NBA league, triple-doubles used to be a very unusual accomplishment back then. It is now being found with an increased number over the last 4 – 5 years because there are at least two to three players in the league who have recorded more than ten triple-doubles per year.

It is an excellent achievement for the NBA league, which portrays many layers getting their best and playing the game beyond making a score.

 In the 1968-1969 basketball season, Oklahoma City Thunder recorded a triple-double of a unique series of figures, which included 20 assists, 20 points, and 20 rebounds. The team accomplished the NBA league with a triple-double of 20-20-20 act. 

 However, there are various reasons that triple-doubles are being found more in the NBA. Because, instead of a 10-minute quarter, the NBA uses a 12-minute quarter, which underlines more on individual play and makes the player more enthusiastic about achieving something more than just a score.

As I discussed a separate article on Hand Checking Rule in Basketball, I discussed the termination of this rule. However, NBA discarded this rule and hired some fast-paced players. This became the main reason for more triple-doubles in NBA.

Therefore, the pace has speedily boosted with time, and the players started making basketball a fast game over 20 years. So in prior years,

when there were only a few smart players in the NBA league, triple-double was seen unusually. Still, now some mind-blowing players break records by making numerous triple-doubles in a single game.

Hence, with the swiftness of players today, you get to see more triple-doubles than prior years, and it is just with the modification of time and addition of a couple of new quick players in the league. Believe it or not, these players are one the biggest reasons for making most triple-doubles in the league.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which player recorded the most triple-doubles?

Oscar Robertson, also popularly known as The Big O, is renowned for his legendary triple-double achievements in the NBA league. Oscar has recorded 181 triple-doubles during his basketball journey with Milwaukee Bucks and Cincinnati Royals.

However, after Robertson, Russell Westbrook ranks in the second position to record 150 triple-doubles in the NBA league. These players are called the leaders of triple-double.

What is the swiftest triple-double of all-time in the NBA league?

In the 2017-2018 basketball season, Nikola Jokic achieved the fastest triple-double, which was 14 minutes 33 seconds, and broke his previous record of making the triple-double in 17 minutes in the 1955-1956 season.

How triple-double is distinct from double-double?

A double-double occurs when a player records a double-digit score in any two of the five statistical categories. However, in triple-double, the player has to achieve a double-figure in three of the five stats in basketball.


A triple-double is a pronounced way to measure the player’s proficiency, which can be found in today’s tournaments, specifically in the NBA league compared to other clubs.

I hope you have got to some most important aspects of triple-doubles in basketball, which help you motivate and make maximum triple-double in your game career.

Besides, I hope the trend of triple-doubles remains continued, and more and more players contribute to this achievement to take the NBA level to new heights.