In May 2021, Washington Wizards point guard Russell Westbrook became the undisputed king of the triple doubles. He scored his record-breaking 182nd triple double in a tight 125-124 loss against the Atlanta Hawks. Westbrook scored his very first triple double in March 2009 while playing for the Oklahoma City Thunder. He spent nine years at the franchise before changing teams three times in four years, eventually joining the Los Angeles Clippers in 2023. As of February 2024, Westerbrook had 198 triple doubles.
Who held the record before Westerbrook?
Before Russell Westbrook smashed the record, Oscar Robertson, nicknamed ‘The Big O’, held the record for triple doubles in the National Basketball Assocation since March 1974. He racked up 181 triple doubles during his playing career with the Cincinnati Royals (now playing as the Sacramento Kings) and the Milwaukee Bucks between 1960 and 1974.
What is a triple double?
In the National Basketball Association, statistical categories are kept on a per game basis for each individual player, including points, rebounds, assists and steals. When a player reaches a score of ten or more in at least three of these statistical categories in a game, he records a triple double (e.g. 10 points, 10 assists, 10 rebounds). All the players on the list with at least 100 triple doubles in their career are versatile, strong, and athletic, and are able to handle the ball on the offensive as well as the defensive end. This enables these players to score at a high level and assist on many other baskets. Their size and basketball smarts often also make them good rebounders.