What is a Triple Double
What is a Triple Double
The concept of the triple double has been around since the 1950s, but it was not until the 1980s that it began to be widely recognized and recorded. The first recorded triple double in the National Basketball Association (NBA) was recorded in a game between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Lakers in 1974, but it was not until the 1980s that players like Magic Johnson and Larry Bird popularized the statistic and made it a more widely recognized achievement.
What is a Triple Double in Basketball?
A triple double in basketball is a statistic that occurs when a player reaches double digits in three of five categories: points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks. It is a rare and impressive feat, and only a select few players in the history of the sport have achieved it.
Since then, triple doubles have become a highly sought-after achievement in the sport, with players trying to rack up as many as possible over the course of their careers. Today, triple doubles are seen as a mark of a player´s all-around skills and their ability to contribute to all aspects of the game.
What is an example of a Triple-Double?
There are many different combinations of categories that can lead to a triple double. For example, a player might achieve a triple double by scoring 20 points, grabbing 10 rebounds, and dishing out 10 assists. Or, they might achieve it by recording 10 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 steals. The combination of categories is not important, as long as the player reaches double digits in three of them.
Triple doubles mainly get acheived when the player gets to double digits in points, rebounds, and assists. But there are some players that have been able to acheive such an impressive feat with either blocks or steals.
How rare is a Triple Double?
Triple doubles are rare in basketball, but they are not as uncommon as some other statistical milestones, such as quadruple doubles (which have only been achieved a handful of times in the history of the sport).
How impressive is a Triple Double?
There have been many notable triple doubles in the history of basketball, and some players have even achieved multiple triple doubles in a single season or over the course of their careers. Some famous triple doubles include:
- Magic Johnson´s 20-point, 20-assist, and 10-rebound triple double in a 1988 NBA Finals game
- Russell Westbrook´s record-setting 42 triple doubles in the 2016-2017 NBA season
- Oscar Robertson´s 1961-1962 season, in which he averaged a triple double for the entire year (30.8 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 11.4 assists per game). Or Russel Westbrook who did it in back to back years between 2015-2017.
- In a 1994 game, Hakeem Olajuwon recorded a triple double with 29 points, 18 rebounds, and 11 blocks, making him the first player in NBA history to record a triple double with blocks.
- In a 2016 game, James Harden recorded a triple double with 53 points, 16 assists, and 17 rebounds, setting a new career high for points in a single game.
The Impact of Triple Doubles on a Game
While triple doubles are widely recognized as a mark of a player´s all-around skills and their ability to impact the game in multiple ways, the statistic has also faced some criticism. Some common criticisms of the triple double include:
Triple doubles can be inflated by "empty" stats: Some critics argue that players can rack up triple doubles by accumulating stats that do not necessarily impact the outcome of the game. For example, a player might grab a lot of rebounds in garbage time (when the game has already been decided) or rack up a lot of assists by simply dumping the ball off to a teammate for an easy basket.
The importance of the triple double is overstated: Some critics argue that the triple double is not as significant as it is often made out to be, and that other statistics, such as team wins and advanced metrics, are more important indicators of a player´s value.
The emphasis on triple doubles can lead to selfish play: Some critics argue that players who are chasing triple doubles may be more focused on individual stats than on team success, and that this can lead to selfish play on the court.
Overall, while the triple double is certainly a noteworthy and impressive achievement, it is important to consider these criticisms and to put the statistic into context when evaluating a player´s performance.
Triple doubles are a rare and impressive feat in basketball, and they are a mark of a player´s all-around skills and their ability to contribute to all aspects of the game. While the triple double statistic has faced some criticism, it remains an important and widely recognized achievement in the sport.
Looking to the future, it is likely that we will continue to see triple doubles recorded in the NBA and other professional basketball leagues.
Some players, such as James Harden, Lebron James, Nikola Jokic, and Luka Doncic, have shown an ability to rack up multiple triple doubles in a single season, and it will be interesting to see if anyone is able to match or surpass the feats of players like Oscar Robertson and Russel Westbrook, who averaged a triple double for an entire season.