What’s a Double-Double in Basketball & Who Has The Most?

Basketball aficionados, especially ones who are well-versed in statistics, are excited to see when basketball players produce double-digit numbers.

In this post, we’ll explore what exactly a double-double is in basketball and which players have recorded the most throughout their careers.

What is a Double-Double?

If a player accomplishes two or more of any of the following feats on the basketball court, he or she has achieved a double-double: scores at least 10 points, grabs 10 or more rebounds, dishes out 10 assists, registers 10 steals, or blocks 10 shots. The most common form of a double-double is either a combination of points and rebounds or points and assists.

The youngest player in National Basketball Association history with a double-double is Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Tracy McGrady, who came off the bench to put up 10 points and bring down 11 rebounds for the Toronto Raptors on November 15, 1997. It was just McGrady’s fifth game of his impressive NBA career, which included two scoring titles, seven All-Star Games, and more than 18,000 points in addition to 137 double-doubles.

McGrady played three seasons with the Raptors but he played his most seasons with the Houston Rockets (six). Coincidentally, the oldest player to record a double-double did so in a Rockets jersey. While McGrady was younger than 18 and a half years old for his first double-double, 

Hall of Famer Dikembe Mutombo scored 10 points and grabbed 15 rebounds on April 10, 2009, as he and the Rockets defeated the Golden State Warriors, 113-109, at Oracle Arena. Mutombo one-upped McGrady with eight All-Star Game appearances in addition to 471 double-doubles in his illustrious career.

Both of these performances occurred within the last 25 years, and another impressive recent double-double-related accomplishment was Kevin Love’s 53 consecutive games with a double-double. He owns the longest record since the merger between the NBA and the American Basketball Association (ABA) in 1976. 

Love’s streak, which spanned from November 22, 2010 to March 11, 2011, was the longest since Elvin Hayes double-doubled in 55 straight contests during the 1973-74 season. During those respective seasons, Love (2010-11) averaged 20 points and 15 rebounds per contest and Hayes (1973-74) had 21 points and a league-leading 18 rebounds per game.

These single-season performances pale in comparison to almost every year of Wilt Chamberlain’s career. He led the NBA in points per game seven times and rebounds per game 10 times. Due to his amazing ability to dominate opposing defenses, Chamberlain is the NBA’s all-time leader in double-doubles with 968. 

He had his fair share of 20-20 (20 points and 20 rebounds) and 30-30 (30 points and 30 rebounds) performances, but one of his most important achievements is that he accomplished the rare 40-40 eight times. Chamberlain is the only player to have registered a 40-40 performance in NBA history. His best 40-40 game was when he scored 78 points and grabbed 43 rebounds in a loss to the Los Angeles Lakers in 1961.

Later in his career, Chamberlain accumulated points and rebounds at such a consistent rate that he set a record that most likely will never be broken. Out of all the NBA player records, Chamberlain’s 227 consecutive double-doubles from 1964 to 1967 is one that will be extremely difficult to match. 

He reached double digits in the two categories for two full NBA seasons, and for that reason, the NBA’s most prolific player has a category to himself in the single-season performance leaderboard below:

double double basketball

Who Holds The Record for Most Double-Doubles in a Single Season?

The Wilt Chamberlain Category: The Double-Double Machine

  1. Wilt Chamberlain (1966-67), SFW – 81
  2. Wilt Chamberlain (1965-66), SFW – 80

Top 10 NBA Players Since 1984-85 (source)

  1. Hakeem Olajuwon (1992-93), HOU – 72
  2. Kevin Garnett (2003-04), MIN – 71
  3. Andre Drummond (2018-19), DET – 69
    Dwight Howard (2007-08), ORL – 69
    Kevin Garnett (2004-05), MIN – 69
    John Stockton (1991-92), UTA – 69
  4. Karl-Anthony Towns (2017-18), MIN – 68
    Kevin Garnett (2002-03), MIN – 68
    Shaquille O’Neal (1992-93), ORL – 68
    Kevin Willis (1991-92), ATL – 68
    John Stockton (1990-91), UTA – 68
    Hakeem Olajuwon (1989-90), HOU – 68
    Hakeem Olajuwon (1988-89), HOU – 68

Top 10 WNBA Players

  1. Tina Charles (2011), Connecticut Sun – 23
  2. Tina Charles (2010), Connecticut Sun – 22
    Sylvia Fowles (2018), Minnesota Lynx – 22
  3. Jonquel Jones (2017), Connecticut Sun – 20
    Sylvia Fowles (2017), Minnesota Lynx – 20
  4. Natalie Williams (2000), Utah Starzz – 19
  5. Tina Charles (2012), Connecticut Sun – 18
    Candace Parker (2012), Los Angeles Sparks – 18
    Erika de Souza (2013), Atlanta Dream – 18
    Yolanda Griffith (2001), Sacramento Monarchs – 18

Top 10 NCAA Players (source)

  1. David Robinson (1985-86), Navy – 31
  2. Blake Griffin (2008-09), Oklahoma – 30
    Xavier McDaniel (1984-85), Wichita State – 30
    Jerry West (1959-60), West Virginia – 30
    Tom Gola (1954-55), La Salle – 30
    Tom Gola (1953-54), La Salle – 30
  3. Kenneth Faried (2010-11), Morehead State – 29
    Tim Duncan (1996-97), Wake Forest – 29
    Derrick Coleman (1988-89), Syracuse – 29
    Benoit Benjamin (1984-85), Creighton – 29
    Rudy Hackett (1974-75), Syracuse – 29
    Mel Count (1963-64), Oregon State – 29

Who Holds The Record for the Most Double-Doubles in Their Career?

Top 10 NBA Players

  1. Wilt Chamberlain – 968
  2. Moses Malone – 894
  3. Elvin Hayes – 890
  4. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – 885
  5. Tim Duncan – 841
  6. Karl Malone – 814
  7. Bill Russell – 785
  8. Hakeem Olajuwon – 775
  9. Walt Bellamy – 756
  10. Dwight Howard – 743

Top 10 WNBA Players 

  1. Sylvia Fowles – 167
  2. Lisa Leslie – 157
  3. Tina Charles – 156
  4. Candace Parker – 134
  5. Tamika Catchings – 96
  6. Nneka Ogwumike – 76
    Lauren Jackson – 76
  7. Chamique Holdsclaw – 75
  8. Natalie Williams – 71
  9. Candice Dupree – 69
    Taj McWilliams-Franklin – 69

Top 10 NCAA Players (source)

  1. Tom Gola, La Salle – 96
  2. Tim Duncan, Wake Forest – 87
  3. Kenneth Faried, Morehead State – 86
  4. Ralph Sampson, Virginia – 84
  5. Derrick Coleman, Syracuse – 83
    Lionel Simmons, La Salle – 83
  6. Malik Rose, Drexel – 80
  7. Oscar Robertson, Cincinnati – 79
    Michael Brooks, La Salle – 79
  8. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Lew Alcindor), UCLA – 78
    Jerry Lucas, Ohio State – 78
    Mel Counts, Oregon State – 78

What is a Triple-Double?

A triple-double is an even more impressive feat than a double-double, and it occurs when a player produces double digits in three different statistical categories as part of a single-game performance. 

Former Los Angeles Lakers public relations director Bruce Jolesch is rumored to be the originator of the term “triple-double” when he was complimenting Magic Johnson as a versatile player. Johnson finished his career with 138 triple-doubles, the third-most all-time.

Interestingly, the triple-double statistic was not a part of the NCAA basketball record books when Oscar Robertson was playing in college (1957-60), but his triple-doubles were counted during his NBA career (1960-74). 

Due to this anomaly, Robertson does not find his way into the college triple-double rankings, but fortunately, the NBA includes him in the triple-double leaderboards at the No. 2 spot overall.

Russell Westbrook is the king of the triple-double, and he surpassed Robertson for the most triple-doubles in NBA history on May 10, 2021

There are also quadruple doubles and a rumored quintuple double in addition to the similarly-coined term “five-by-five” in which a player records at least five points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks. 

Hakeem Olajuwon has the most five-by-fives in NBA history. Olajuwon was a tremendous double-double player, and he even had a quadruple double. He is not in the top 10 all-time with his 14 career triple-doubles, but let us take a look at the triple-double leaderboards:

Who Holds The Record for Most Triple-Doubles in a Single Season?

Top 10 NBA Players Since 1950-51 (source)

  1. Russell Westbrook (2016-17), OKC – 42
  2. Oscar Robertson (1961-62), CIN – 41
  3. Russell Westbrook (2020-21), WAS – 36
  4. Russell Westbrook (2018-19), OKC – 34
  5. Wilt Chamberlain (1967-68), PHI – 31
  6. Oscar Robertson (1963-64), CIN – 26
    Oscar Robertson (1960-61), CIN – 26
  7. Russell Westbrook (2017-18), OKC – 25
  8. James Harden (2016-17), HOU – 22
    Wilt Chamberlain (1966-67), PHI – 22
    Oscar Robertson (1964-65), CIN – 22

The 8 WNBA Players Who Have Ever Achieved a triple-double (source)

  1. Sheryl Swoopes (July 27, 1999), Houston Comets
    • Swoopes also is the only WNBA player with a playoff double-double (September 3, 2005).
  2. Margo Dydek (June 7, 2001), Utah Starzz
  3. Lisa Leslie (September 9, 2004), Los Angeles Sparks
  4. Deanna Nolan (May 21, 2005), Detroit Shock
  5. Temeka Johnson (July 24, 2014), Seattle Storm
  6. Candace Parker (July 28, 2017), Los Angeles Sparks
  7. Courtney Vandersloot (July 20, 2018), Chicago Sky
  8. Chelsea Gray (July 7, 2019), Los Angeles Sparks

Top 10 NCAA Players (source)

  1. Kyle Collinsworth (2015-16), BYU – 6
    Kyle Collinsworth (2014-15), BYU – 6
  2. Stephane Lasme (2006-07), Massachusetts – 4
    Jason Kidd (1993-94), California – 4
    Brian Shaw (1987-88), UC Santa Barbara – 4
    Michael Anderson (1985-86), Drexel – 4
  3. Ja Morant (2018-19), Murray State – 3
    Hassan Whiteside (2009-10), Marshall – 3
    Andre Iguodala (2003-04), Arizona – 3
    David Edwards (1993-94), Texas A&M – 3
    Gerald Lewis (1992-93), SMU – 3
    Shaquille O’Neal (1991-92), LSU – 3
    David Robinson (1985-86), Navy – 3

Who Holds The Record for Most Triple-Doubles in a Career?

Top 10 NBA Players Since 1950-51 (source)

  1. Russell Westbrook – 182
  2. Oscar Robertson – 181
  3. Magic Johnson – 138
  4. Jason Kidd – 107
  5. LeBron James – 99
  6. Wilt Chamberlain – 78
  7. Larry Bird – 59
  8. James Harden – 58
  9. Nikola Jokic – 56
  10. Fat Lever – 43

The 8 WNBA Players Who Have Ever Achieved a Triple-Double (source)

  1. Sheryl Swoopes (July 27, 1999), Houston Comets
    • Swoopes also is the only WNBA player with a playoff double-double (September 3, 2005).
  2. Margo Dydek (June 7, 2001), Utah Starzz
  3. Lisa Leslie (September 9, 2004), Los Angeles Sparks
  4. Deanna Nolan (May 21, 2005), Detroit Shock
  5. Temeka Johnson (July 24, 2014), Seattle Storm
  6. Candace Parker (July 28, 2017), Los Angeles Sparks
  7. Courtney Vandersloot (July 20, 2018), Chicago Sky
  8. Chelsea Gray (July 7, 2019), Los Angeles Sparks

Top 10 NCAA Players (source)

  1. Kyle Collinsworth, BYU – 12
  2. Michael Anderson, Drexel – 6
    Shaquille O’Neal, LSU – 6
  3. Brian Shaw, St. Mary’s (CA)/UC Santa Barbara – 5
    Kevin Roberson, Vermont – 5
    Shawn James, Northeastern/Duquesne – 5
  4. David Robinson, Navy – 4
    Jason Kidd, California – 4
    David Edwards, Texas A&M – 4
    Adonal Foyle, Colgate – 4
    Stephane Lasme, Massachusetts – 4
    Jesse Sanders, Liberty – 4
    Ja Morant, Murray State – 4

Have There Ever Been Any Quadruple or Quintuple-Doubles?

The 4 NBA Quadruple-Doubles in League History

  1. David Robinson (February 17, 1994), San Antonio Spurs
    • 34 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists, and 10 blocks
  2. Hakeem Olajuwon (March 29, 1990), Houston Rockets
    • 18 points, 16 rebounds, 10 assists, and 11 blocks
  3. Alvin Robertson (February 18, 1986), San Antonio Spurs
    • 20 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists, and 10 steals
  4. Nate Thurmond (October 18, 1974), Chicago Bulls
    • 22 points, 14 rebounds, 13 assists, and 12 blocks in overtime

The 1 NCAA Basketball Quadruple-Double All-Time

Lester Hudson (November 13, 2007), UT Martin:

25 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists, and 10 steals

The Rumored Quintuple-Double by Wilt Chamberlain

According to statistician Harvey Pollack, Wilt Chamberlain has the only quintuple double in collegiate or professional basketball history. On March 18, 1968, Pollack recorded the following statistics for Chamberlain:

53 points, 32 rebounds, 14 assists, 24 blocks, and 11 steals

The quintuple double was not officially in the record books due to steals and blocks not being official NBA statistics at that time. With quadruple doubles being so rare, the quintuple double seems to be something that will stay with the legend of Wilt Chamberlain.

Statistics last updated on May 11, 2021