If you have watched basketball then you have probably heard of some terms like double-double and triple-double. However, very few people have ever stretched so far as to look for quintuple-doubles in the league. In fact, quadruple-doubles are wildly difficult to come by in today’s NBA. So, has any player in league history ever been able to record a quintuple-double before?
Has Anyone Got a Quintuple-Double in the NBA? There is only one player that has been able to record one of these historic feats. That player is none other than Wilt Chamberlain. The phenomenal center already holds a million records across NBA history, but this one was something special. He recorded 53 points, 32 rebounds, 14 assists, 11 steals and 24 blocks! When is the last time you have heard a stat line even remotely close to that!
With the way that the game is played nowadays, there doesn’t seem to be anyone that can really push the boundaries and get themselves this legendary stat line. Wilt was a rare breed, and could do things that nobody else could when he was playing. Though there have been a few players that have gotten themselves close.
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These players weren’t able to get over the hump and achieve what Wilt did, but boy did they get awfully close to doing so. Nate Thurmond was probably the closest. The player finished with a stat line of 22 points, 14 rebounds, 13 assists and 12 blocks against the Atlanta Hawks. The now Hall of Fame player was just one category away from doing it, but steals just weren’t coming easy for him that game. Alvin Robertson was the next, who had a stat line of 20 points, 11 rebounds, ten assists and ten steals.
That game was against the Phoenix Suns. Robertson didn’t score consistently every game but there was a reason he was named the Defensive Player of the Year back in 1986. Next was Hakeem Olajuwon. Hakeem and the Houston Rockets put on a clinic against the Golden State Warriors. As evidenced by his line of 29 points, 18 rebounds, ten assists and 11 blocks. Hakeem actually recorded another quadruple-double, but it wasn’t as impressive as his first. Lastly, David Robinson recorded one. The Hall of Fame center on the San Antonio Spurs played the Detroit Pistons and had a field day. He had 34 points, ten rebounds, ten assists and ten blocks on the night. These are the only players that have been recorded to have quadruple-doubles, rare company to be in if I might add.
The Only Flaw in This Quintuple Double
Despite being recorded as the only quintuple-double in the history of the league, some have their doubts about Wilt Chamberlains performance in this game and whether or not he actually did achieve these numbers. When Wilt recorded that stat line we mentioned earlier, the year was 1968. The NBA didn’t record the block statistic until the year 1973, which is roughly five years after the fact.
The only source of information that the league and other analysts have been able to get is from Harvey Pollack, a former statistician that worked for the NBA since its launch in the United States. He said that Wilt was able to record 24 blocks throughout that game when he recorded it. I don’t know about you guys, but even if he miscounted it doesn’t seem like he would be 14 off the final mark. As you would expect, there are a lot of people out there that discredit his performance due to the league not keeping stats for parts of his career. In my opinion, I don’t feel like we can discredit a performance like this and should stick with Wilt’s game being the only quintuple-double in history at the moment.
What Player Has the Best Chance to Record One?
Well, any current player in the league today can record a quintuple-double, the real question is what player do we think can really accomplish such a thing? The obvious answer would seem to be Russell Westbrook though.
The now Los Angeles Lakers point guard has recorded the most triple-doubles in league history but will have a tough time picking up those blocks. He is just a point guard after all. Other players like Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid seem like better choices though. Each of these seven-foot centers have been dominating the league lately, and they can shoot, pass, finish and rebound at a high level. They both can defend the rim and block shots at a high level when they are locked in as well. The only main issue for them would be steals, as big men like that normally don’t get much opportunities to poke the ball loose or jump passing lanes ten plus times a game. Still, these guys have the tools in their toolbox to make it happen.
Could We Ever See Another Quintuple Double?
As much as I would love to witness a performance like that, I just don’t see it happening. At least for a very long time. There are a lot of talented players in the league right now but none play the required minutes to be putting up numbers like that. Teams aren’t just one guy anymore; they are a group of talented players with chemistry and only play about 35-40 minutes per game if they are considered a star in the league. Wilt was averaging 48.5 minutes a contest back then; he literally wasn’t taking a rest on the bench whatsoever during his playing career. With coaches in the NBA deciding to give their players load management and things like that, chances are nobody will get the opportunity to get themselves placed into the history books. For example, just look at some historic scoring performances in the past. I know that Steph Curry could have had a record-breaking game but was pulled due to the score being a blowout. Hopefully, somebody can overcome all of this and be the second in history to pull it off.