What is a Double-Double in Basketball?

The importance of being a versatile player in basketball cannot be overstated.

Even though there are experts — rebounding specialists, three-point specialists, and defensive specialists, to name a few — if you excel in several elements of the game, you will contribute more to your team. There's even a chance that your worth may translate into more playing time and a leadership role, which is always a positive.

It's frequently a plus on the court to pad the stat sheet in various ways. There are a few milestones that the media and fans pay attention to and keep track of when debating the worth and value of certain players. One such step is the "double-double."

How Does One Explain a Double-Double Exactly?

A double-double occurs when a player has double-digit stats in any two out of the five primary basketball categories.

These categories are points, assists, rebounds, steals, and blocks. Attaining a double-double is therefore considered a significant feat, and only a few players can do it regularly.


Many basketball players strive to achieve the triple-double - a very desirable achievement, which occurs when they score double digits in three different categories. A double-double, however, is still a significant accomplishment.

For example, a double-double can occur when you score at least 10 points or more while also grabbing double digits rebounds in the same game. Double-doubles are common for centers and power players who can effectively score and rebound concurrently.

How many Categories can a Double-Double Contain?

A double-double can include various statistics. However, the most popular categories include points, blocks, rebounds, steals, and assists.

These five areas are the most crucial in the NBA and assess a player's performance. They're also the criteria for determining who wins the Most Valuable Player (MVP) and Defensive Player of the Year awards (DPOY). 

It takes plenty of dedication and hard effort to put up stats in various categories every game. This is what makes the achievement newsworthy - the fact that it is not easily achievable.

  • Points

When players make baskets, they score points. As the most fundamental statistic in basketball, it determines a player's offensive effectiveness. It is also the base indicator of a player's offensive performance.

Making field shots or free throws, or snatching the ball away from the opposing team and scoring on their end are all ways to earn points.

  • Blocks

When players deflect or prevent a shot from getting into the basket, they are awarded a block. This is an essential statistic for defenders since it can prevent the other side from scoring.

  • Rebounds

A rebound occurs when players grab the ball after failed shots, and they're a crucial metric for players that play close to the hoop.

Good rebounders may help their team gain possessions and delay the other team’s scoring advances.

  • Steals

When a player takes the ball from an opponent, it is known as a steal. It is another crucial figure for defenders since their team gains ball possession and prevents the other team from scoring.

  • Assists

When the ball passes from one player to another, who subsequently scores, the player receives an assist. The norm is to give it to that specified player, although there are occasional disagreements about who gets it.

Double-Double Combinations

Players may achieve different sorts of double-doubles. The most familiar combinations are points and blocks, points and rebounds, points and steals and points and assists.

The most achieved sort of double-double is in points and rebounds.

When a player gets more than 10 points and about the same tally for rebounds in a game, it is known as a double-double.

The terms "points" and "assists" are self-explanatory, and this occurs when players score more than 10 points and assist more than 10 times in a game.

Blocks and steals are another common sort of double-double. A double-double occurs when a player has more than 10 steals or blocks in a game.


A triple-double occurs when a player scores in the double digits in three separate statistical categories, as previously stated.

Because it involves more skill and effort, it is more demanding than a double-double. There have, therefore, only been a few players in the NBA who have attained it.

double double

Oscar Robertson, LeBron James, Jason Kidd, Magic Johnson and Wilt Chamberlain are the most noteworthy.

Oscar Robertson is the first NBA player ever to average a triple-double throughout the course of a season. He achieved this during the 1961-62 season.

Magic Johnson was part of the NBA's most multi talented players, averaging triple-doubles with effortless ease. With 138 career triple-doubles, he now holds the record for most triple-doubles.


Where a player gets double digits in four categories, it's called a quadruple-double. This has never happened in the history of the NBA and most probably won’t happen for a long time.

With at least 10 points, 10 blocks, 10 rebounds and 10 assists or steals the challenge is completed.

The person would have to be a top-tier defensive player who can score many points, pass and rebound well. The unpredictable nature of basketball means that this achievement could come to pass tomorrow or, most likely, after many years.

David Robinson came close to achieving this in the 1994 season though he got stopped on nine rebounds. He came up short despite having 18 points, ten assists, eight steals, and nine blocks! Regardless, it was a remarkable achievement.


Even rarer than a quadruple-double is a quintuple double. No one has yet accomplished this in the history of the NBA. The Quintuple Double would necessitate a player scoring in the double digits in each of the five categories.

The person would have to be a top-tier defensive player with the unique ability to score many points and pass and rebound well.

Attaining the Quintuple Double takes at least 10 points, ten rebounds, ten assists, ten blocks, and ten steals. It's so tough to do that it's unlikely to happen in the NBA. Only time can unveil if this is true. Nonetheless, it is fascinating to see whether anyone will accomplish this seemingly complex undertaking in the NBA.

Double-Double Deep Dive

There are some highly intriguing figures and data one can find while investigating the subject of Double-Doubles. The significance of these findings will greatly appeal to a basketball fan.

These records put the milestone into perspective within the framework of the league's history. The records are a trip down memory lane, and it is fun to reminisce about these players and their particular accomplishments.

  • Longest Double-Double Streak

Wilt Chamberlain had 227 consecutive double-doubles between 1964 and 1967. While playing for the Philadelphia 76ers, Chamberlain earned two MVP awards (1966 and 1967) and established himself as one of the league's most formidable powers.

As a result, Chamberlain has the second and third-longest streaks, with 220 and 133 games, respectively.

  • The Youngest Player with a Double-Double

Then, 18 years and 175 days old, Tracy McGrady became the youngest player to record a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds in 1997.

Despite the average numbers, McGrady's age at the time added to the experience and provided spectators an insight into the youngster's basketball future.

  • The Oldest Player To Hit a Double-Double

In 2009, NBA icon Dikembe Mutombo scored 10 points and collected 15 rebounds at 42 years.

During that game in 2009, Mutombo, a four-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year and Hall of Famer, offered a glimmer of his former self. It must have been a joy for basketball fans to see him triumph on the court with a double-double one final time before retiring after that season.

Final Thoughts

Reaching double digits in any offensive metric other than points indicates that you have succeeded in that category.

Although it may not amount to a double-double, it is still an achievement one should be proud of. Once you manage to do so consistently, as the players we profiled in this article did, you will be a valuable commodity for your club.

If you found this article informative and learned something new, please tell us in the comment section.

Apart from basketball players, basketball fans should also get involved in knowing fun facts and in-depth terms used within the game. Therefore, you should definitely learn more fun facts if you are one! 

Joshua Bast

My name is Joshua Bast and I have been playing basketball ever since I was 7 years old. I love the game play, I love the feeling whenever I score a basket, but what made me fell in love was the camaraderie with my team mates. This blog is dedicated to help any up-and-coming basketball players maximize their potential.

Joshua Bast