Most Triple-Doubles in NBA History

By Andrew D

May 27, 2022


Ok, first things first.


There are conflicting opinions as to the origin of the term “triple-double”.

The concept is relatively recent, as it was only introduced in the 1979/80 season. Some suggest that former Los Angeles Lakers public relations director Bruce Jolesch coined the phrase in order to highlight the versatility of Magic Johnson and add some razzmatazz to the world of stats. Others maintain that it was Philadelphia 76ers media man Harvey Pollack who came up with the idea.

Whatever its origin, a triple-double is recorded when, in the course of a single game, a player accumulates double-digit numbers in three of the five major statistical categories.

Those being:

  • Points (PTS)

  • Rebounds (TRB – for total rebounds)

  • Assists (AST)

  • Steals (STL)

  • Blocks (BLK)

Due to the nature of play, it is much more common for a triple-double to be achieved on the first three of those stats. There have certainly been occasions when a player makes 10 or more blocks or steals. But not many…


Andy Phillip of the Philadelphia Warriors

December 14th, 1950

  • 17 PTS

  • 10 TRB

  • 10 AST

Andy Phillip took the league’s first-ever triple-double almost 30 years before the concept was even thought up.

Stats and figures updated:

October 29th, 2022

For the purposes of this article, we will only reference triple-doubles achieved during regular season NBA games.



  • Born – November 12th, 1988 – Long Beach, California

  • Measurements – 6’3” (1.9m) – 200lb (90kg)

  • NBA debut – October 29th, 2008

  • Position – Point guard

  • Teams – Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets, Washington Wizards, Los Angeles Lakers

  • Career length – 14 years (ongoing)

  • Games played – 1,024

  • Total points – 23,329

  • Rebounds – 7,561

  • Assists – 8,624

  • Steals – 1,705

  • Blocks – 313

At the time of updating, Westbrook has achieved the quite staggering feat of being number 1 for triple-doubles for six straight seasons. 2016/'17 was his most prolific season with 42. But he almost reached that level again in the 2020/'21 season. Quite simply a machine when it comes to this aspect of the game.

He surpassed Oscar Robertson who completed his whole career (1960-1974) before the combined stat was ever recognized and recorded. The pair are streets ahead of the rest with 5th-placed LeBron James having almost half as many as Russell Westbrook.

From the start of the 2016/17 season, until the end of the 2018/19 season, there were 352 recorded triple-doubles in the whole of the NBA.

Russell Westbrook was single-handedly responsible for 28.69% of them…

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  • Born – November 24th, 1938 (age 83) – Charlotte, Tennessee

  • Measurements – 6’5” (1.96m) – 205lb (92kg)

  • NBA debut – October 19th, 1960

  • Position – Point guard

  • Teams – Cincinnati Royals, Milwaukee Bucks

  • Career length – 14 years

  • Hall of Fame induction – 1980

  • Games played – 1,040

  • Total points – 26,710

  • Rebounds – 7,804

  • Assists – 9,887

  • Steals – 77

  • Blocks – 4

Oscar Robertson is second on the list of NBA career regular-season triple-doubles. He was the first to average a triple-double over an entire season but only managed the feat once. As we have seen, Westbrook did so on 4 separate occasions.


  • Born – August 14th, 1959 (age 62) – Lansing, Michigan

  • Measurements – 6’9” (2.06m) – 215lb (97kg)

  • NBA debut – October 12th, 1979

  • Position – Point guard, shooting guard, power forward

  • Teams – Los Angeles Lakers

  • Career length – 13 years

  • Hall of Fame induction – 2002 & “Dream Team” – 2010

  • Games played – 906

  • Total points – 17,707

  • Rebounds – 6,559

  • Assists – 10,141

  • Steals – 1,724

  • Blocks – 374

As mentioned, the triple-double became an officially recorded statistic in the National Basketball Association during the 1979/80 season. The number of triple-doubles rose significantly during the reign of Magic Johnson, who single-handedly added 138 across his 13 years in the league. From 1979/80 to 1990/91, the NBA recorded a total of 543 triple-doubles. That equates to just over 45 per season. Magic Johnson was individually responsible for over 25% of them! After his retirement (1991), the number saw a noticeable decline.

5 x NBA champion. 3 x NBA Finals MVP. 3 x NBA MVP. 12 X NBA All-Star. 9 x All NBA First Team. 4 x NBA Assists leader. 2 x NBA Steals leader.

Out and out legend.


  • Born – March 23rd, 1973 (age 49) – San Fransisco, California

  • Measurements – 6’4” (1.93m) – 205lb (92kg)

  • NBA debut – November 5th, 1992

  • Position – Point guard, shooting guard

  • Teams – Dallas Mavericks, Phoenix Suns, New Jersey Nets, New York Knickerbockers

  • Career length – 19 years

  • Hall of Fame induction – 2018

  • Games played – 1,391

  • Total points – 17,529

  • Rebounds – 8,725

  • Assists – 12,091

  • Steals – 2,684

  • Blocks – 450

Jason Kidd takes 4th place on the list of most triple-doubles in NBA history. 1999/00 was the season that saw him come closest to the elusive triple-double average across the whole season but it was not to be. He averaged 14.3 points, and 10.1 assists but could only get to 7.2 rebounds. Another Hall of Fame player that performed at the highest level consistently. In Kidd’s case, for 19 straight seasons in the NBA.


  • Born – December 30th, 1984 (age 37) – Akron, Ohio

  • Measurements – 6’9” (2.06m) – 250lb (113kg)

  • NBA debut – October 29th 2003

  • Position – Small forward, power forward, point guard, shooting guard

  • Teams – Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat, Los Angeles Lakers

  • Career length – 19 years (ongoing)

  • Games played – 1,366

  • Total points – 37,163

  • Rebounds – 10,250

  • Assists – 10,076

  • Steals – 2,140

  • Blocks – 1,045

The ever-present, constantly amazing LeBron James appears at 5th on our list. James may, as yet, only have 105 triple-double performances but appears to be far from ready to give up the game. His stats are amazingly solid and consistent. He has the most points of any player here. He trails Jason Kidd in steals but has far and away the most blocks. More than double Kidd in fact.

LeBron James blows the field away in the number of rebounds and is right up there with the best in assists. Remarkable.

He looks certain to top the lists in some other stats before his career ends, but not this one. Although there is only one active player above him (Westbrook), there is virtually no chance that he will catch and overtake him. Especially when we think that Westbrook is the younger man by 4 years.


  • Born – August 21st, 1936. Died October 12th, 1999 (aged 63) – RIP – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

  • Measurements – 7’1” (2.16m) – 275lb (124kg)

  • NBA debut – October 24th, 1959

  • Position – Center

  • Teams – Philadelphia Warriors, San Francisco Warriors, Philadelphia 76ers, Los Angeles Lakers

  • Career length – 14 years

  • Hall of Fame induction – 1979

  • Games played – 1,045

  • Total points – 31,419

  • Rebounds – 23,924

  • Assists – 4,643

In the days when steals and blocks were not even recorded yet, Wilt Chamberlain created all kinds of other NBA records and statistical anomalies. Averaging over 30 points per game across an entire 14-year career is nothing short of miraculous. LeBron James comes reasonably close with 27+ but the others here are nowhere near that level.

Wilt Chamberlain was a ground-breaking player in any number of ways. Making 6th place on the list of most triple-doubles in NBA history is just another feather in his cap. It pales into insignificance if we compare it with the prejudiced society and sporting culture he had to battle against to be given the chance to even show his skills in the first place.


  • Born – February 19th, 1995 (age 27) – Sombor, Serbia

  • Measurements – 6’11” (2.11m) – 284lb (128kg)

  • NBA debut – October 28th, 2015

  • Position – Center

  • Teams – Denver Nuggets

  • Career length – 7 years (ongoing)

  • Games played – 532

  • Total points – 10,476

  • Rebounds – 5,510

  • Assists – 3,328

  • Steals – 635

  • Blocks – 377

It has taken Nikola Jokić just 6 full seasons to make his way to 7th position in the all-time greats list for triple-doubles. For comparison purposes, it took LeBron James three times that long to gain only 29 more. Jokić is still only 27 and averages 12.67 triple-doubles per season. The list leader, Russell Westbrook, averages 13.86. As Westbrook eventually retires and Jokić presumably plays on, it will be interesting to see if the latter can up his percentage and overtake the leader, or simply play longer. Time will tell.


  • Born – August 26th, 1989 (age 32) – Los Angeles, California

  • Measurements – 6’5” (1.96m) – 220lb (99kg)

  • NBA debut – October 28th, 2009

  • Position – Shooting guard, point guard

  • Teams – Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets, Brooklyn Nets, Philadelphia 76ers

  • Career length – 13 years (ongoing)

  • Games played – 947

  • Total points – 23,602

  • Rebounds – 5,335

  • Assists – 6,445

  • Steals – 1,454

  • Blocks – 516

Ten times consecutive NBA All-Star, James Harden has been described as one of the best-ever scorers in professional basketball. He has been selected for the All-NBA Team 7 times. 6 of them were on the First Team.

Named on the NBA’s 75th-anniversary team in this landmark season is yet another accolade he has collected on the way. James Harden has collected 68 triple-doubles thus far and is certain to rack up a few more in the remaining year of his illustrious career.


  • Born – December 7th, 1956 (age 65) – West Baden, Indiana

  • Measurements – 6’9” (2.06m) – 220lb (99kg)

  • NBA debut – October 12th, 1979

  • Position – Small forward, power forward

  • Teams – Boston Celtics

  • Career length – 13 years

  • Hall of Fame induction – 1998 & “Dream Team” – 2010

  • Games played – 897

  • Total points – 21,791

  • Rebounds – 8,974

  • Assists – 5,695

  • Steals – 1,556

  • Blocks – 755

Larry Bird was one of the first players to take advantage of the newly-introduced 3-point line in professional basketball. He played out a fascinating career going up against his great rival, Magic Johnson. It is not exaggerating to say that the pair changed the face and the fortunes of the NBA forever.

Check out our in-depth article – ‘Ripping Rivalries – Magic Johnson vs Larry Bird’ for a superb look at the true story of the 2 NBA giants.

Bird grabbed himself a respectable 59 triple-doubles in the course of his game-changing time on the court and finds himself 9th on the list. When we consider that he has easily the fewest number of games under his belt (897) that achievement becomes all the more impressive.

Olympic gold medallist. Larry Bird had an exemplary post-playing career in coaching and, to this day, remains the only person in NBA history to be named all of the following:

  • Rookie of the year

  • Most valuable player

  • NBA Finals MVP

  • All-Star MVP

  • Coach of the year

  • Executive of the year

To say that is impressive doesn’t quite cut it somehow


  • Born – February 28th, 1999 (age 23) – Ljubljana, Slovenia

  • Measurements – 6’7” (2.01m) – 230lb (104kg)

  • NBA debut – October 17th, 2018

  • Position – Points guard, shooting guard

  • Teams – Dallas Mavericks

  • Career length – 4 years (ongoing)

  • Games: 268

  • Total points – 7,107

  • Rebounds – 2,294

  • Assists – 2,139

  • Steals – 286

  • Blocks – 114

The final spot on our top ten of most triple-doubles in all of NBA history goes to Luka Dončić. Having only played 3 seasons of, what we hope will be a long and illustrious career, it is quite incredible to find him already in the 10th spot. Averaging more triple-doubles per season than anyone else listed here, if he continues unabated then we can expect to see a record-breaking effort in a few short years. At this pace, if his career lasts as long as Russell Westbrook’s (14 years) then we can expect him to have over 200 triple-doubles on the record.

Dončić was selected unanimously for the NBA All-Rookie First Team and was also voted Rookie of the Year in 2018/19. The next season saw him selected for the All-NBA First Team proper and his first NBA All-Star game. A lot can happen in the course of an NBA career but Luka Dončić is clearly one to watch very closely.


Magic Johnson has the most NBA career postseason triple-double performances with 30.

He is one ahead of LeBron James with 29.

A number of current and former NBA scouts gave us an idea of what their life is like behind-the-scenes. Click here to read about The Life of an NBA Scout - In Their Own Words.


The first perfect triple-double (no missed shots. No missed free throws) in NBA history was performed by Wes Unseld on March 20th, 1970


There are statistical categories that reveal a lot about a player’s skills and attributes in any NBA game. It is for the individual fan to decide how much weight they ascribe to each. One thing is for certain, however. If a statistic is as difficult to achieve as triple doubles are then they surely indicate that we are dealing with players who are operating in the upper echelons of their sport. This is especially true if they are able to maintain those figures across an entire season in the NBA.

Whatever the future brings in terms of more and more triple-doubles, the fact that the only player in NBA history to achieve that feat more than once is Russell Westbrook speaks volumes for his quality.

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