One way that an NBA player’s game performance is evaluated is by how well they perform at one aspect of the game: scoring, passing, rebounding, defending, etc. Most players are usually good at one or two aspects, while well-rounded players usually are above average in multiple areas but not really elite in one category or the other. However, there is an echelon of NBA players who are elite in multiple facets of the game of basketball.
What NBA player has the most quadruple-doubles? A quadruple-double refers to when a player records double-digit figures (10 or more) in 4 of the following 5 statistical categories: points, rebounds, assists, blocks, and steals. The quadruple-double is one of the rarest statistical occurrences in NBA history, as it has only happened 4 times and no player has ever done it twice. The players who have posted a quadruple-double include Nate Thurmond, Alvin Robertson, Hakeem Olajuwon and David Robinson. Thurmond, Olajuwon, and Robinson had double-digit figures in points-rebounds-assists-blocks while Robertson had double-digit figures in points-rebounds-assists-steals.
How did the 4 NBA players achieve a quadruple-double?
Nate Thurmond was the first-ever player to record a quadruple-double in NBA history. The longtime Golden State Warriors was in his first season with the Chicago Bulls, and in an October matchup against the Atlanta Hawks, Thurmond posted a stat line of 22 points, 14 rebounds, 13 assists, and 12 blocks in a 120-115 win. Thurmond’s stat line may be the best among his fellow quadruple-double peers, with the 2nd-most points and rebounds and the highest assist and block totals.
Alvin Robertson of the San Antonio Spurs was the only guard to record a quadruple-double in NBA history, and the only one to do it with steals instead of blocks. In February 1986 against the Phoenix Suns, Robertson scored 20 points, grabbed 11 rebounds, and had 10 assists and 10 steals. His position and the way he achieved his quadruple-double via steals makes Robertson’s performance all the more memorable.
Hakeem Olajuwon, the all-time great Houston Rockets center, posted his quadruple-double in March 1990. Just a few days earlier, Olajuwon recorded a quadruple-double, but the NBA revoked it after they believed that the Rockets recorded an additional assist, which brought him down from 10 assists to 9. Nevertheless, Olajuwon’s (second?) quadruple-double was perfectly legitimate, with 18 points, 16 rebounds, 11 assists, and 10 blocks in a 120-94 win over the Milwaukee Bucks. While his points total was the lowest amongst all players with a quadruple-double, he has the highest non-points figure, with 16 (rebounds).
David Robinson, also known as “The Admiral”, was a star for the San Antonio Spurs in the 1990s. In February 1994, Robinson became the 4th player to ever record a quadruple-double. In a win over the Detroit Pistons, Robinson put up 31 points (the most points in a quadruple-double), 10 rebounds, 10 assists, and 10 blocks. Since then, it’s been a little less than 30 years yet the Admiral remains as the last player to every put up this historic statline.
List of Players with NBA Quadruple Doubles
- Nate Thurmond
- Oscar Robertson
- Hakeem Olajuwon
- David Robinson
Has any NBA player achieved a quintuple-double?
A quintuple-double is if a player records double-digit figures in 5 statistical categories: points, rebounds, assists, blocks, and steals. No NBA player has ever recorded a quintuple-double, and is even harder to achieve than a quadruple-double. A player recording a quintuple-double may be the greatest NBA statistical achievement ever as well as an unprecedented game performance.
What NBA player has the most triple-doubles?
A triple-double is if a player records double-digit figures in 3 of the following statistical categories: points, rebounds, assists, blocks, and steals. Despite not being as arduous as quadruple-doubles, it is still an impressive achievement. Today’s NBA has witnessed triple-doubles become quite commonplace, as many players are well-equipped to play at a high level across multiple aspects of the game (however, this trend in the modern game has yet to produce any quadruple-double performances).
The NBA player with the most triple-doubles in NBA history is Russell Westbrook is 197, and considering that he is still an active player, that number can increase. Westbrook’s insane aptitude for the triple-double is demonstrated by the fact that the next active player on the list is LeBron James at #5, who is at 105 triple-doubles in his longer career. The 2nd, 3rd, and 4th spots are occupied by Oscar Robertson (181), Magic Johnson (138), and Jason Kidd (107). Interestingly, all the top 5 players played as primary ball handlers and had great athleticism and size compared to traditional point guards.
Westbrook and Robertson stand out from the rest of the pack as consistent triple-double threats. Robertson was the previous record holder, and his dominance was impressive in an era dominated by towering centers. He even recorded a triple-double average over a whole season in the 1961-62 season, with 30.8 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 11.4 assists (and only came 3rd in MVP voting that year!).
What was considered an untouchable record (Robertson set it in 1974) was broken by Westbrook in 2021. Westbrook’s path as a triple-double getter was unique: in his first 7 seasons, he recorded 19 triple-doubles, then in his 8th season he recorded 18 triple-doubles alone. He then absolutely exploded, recording 42 triple-doubles in the historic 2016-17 NBA season. He went on to average triple-double season averages for 4 seasons in a 5-year run between 2016 and 2021.
Quadruple-doubles, and likewise triple-doubles, are incredible statistical achievements that require incredible individual performances. But there’s an argument to be made that triple-doubles speak to a reliance on one player to perform at a high level in many parts of the game; basketball is a team game, and an individual can only do so much to help his team win consistently. Westbrook is a prime example of a player who dominates in games but has been unable to garner much team success. Another example is Oscar Robertson, who recorded a triple-double season but lost the MVP to Bill Russell, who led his team to 60 wins. While stats like triple-doubles and quadruple-doubles are wowing to fans, they’re not compatible with sustained team success.