Several years ago, it was more or less recessive in the vocabulary of basketball but over time, it made its niche, spread its tentacles to the point of becoming today an essential link in the arsenal of the ball to the basket. . But in reality, what does this expression, which appeared in the 1980s and of which the NBA is one of the vectors par excellence, actually mean?
As its name suggests, the triple-double is an anglicism, an expression borrowed from the English language and which is commonly used in French, especially in the jargon of the ball to the basket. One of his favorite fields, if not the most convincing, is the NBA.
But what is actually its genesis? Indeed, the triple-double made its appearance in the 1980s under the leadership of Harvey Pollack and Bruce Jolesch, respectively statistician for the Sixers and press secretary for the Lakers. In its decomposition, it includes the terminologies “triple” for three and “double” for two digits. In turn, a triple-double is landed during a match when the player compiles at least 10 units in three different statistical categories (points, rebounds, assists, steals or blocks). It remains that the most salient and most common pillars on which the circuit tunes its violins in the institutionalization of the triple-double, it is the format: ” points, rebounds, assists ”.
Evolution of the specialty,
Kind of like lightning and at the speed of light things went really fast. In the space of ten years, we have gone from minimalism to gigantism. By way of illustration, during the 2008-2009 season, the counter showed 30 triple-doubles. Ten years later, the 2018-2019 regular season, the statistics on the number of 10-10-10 have exploded! This exercise was crowned with no less than 127 triple-doubles.
Russell Westbrook, subliminal star among the recordmen,
In terms of triple-doubles, a number of exceptional players participated in its consecration and immortalization. We will tick as pioneers on the golden pages of this expression, sphinxes like Magic Johnson, Jason Kidd, LeBron James, Wilt Chamberlain, Larry Bird or even Nikola Jokic. However, in this symphony of specialists, two aesthetes stand out and serve as absolute references. Until May 11, 2021, the date on which the triple-double will experience the greatest homage of his odyssey, a man was enthroned at the top of the pyramid of luminaries in the specialty: Oscar Robertson! In his pocket, 181 career triple-doubles. A mountain, Everest that some thought unsinkable until May 11, 2021 when Russell Westbrook, then member of the Wizards and second on the list until then, will achieve the incredible but still expected.
We are at State Farm Arena and the Atlanta Hawks welcome the Washington Wizards in a game that seems trivial at first glance. Still, all eyes are on one man, visitor number 4, Russell Westbrook. With an impressive dynamic of 14 TD in one month, it was written that the former MVP would undoubtedly bring down the legendary bar of 181. Eureka. In the middle of the fourth quarter, after a failed fadeaway from Danilo Gallinari, Westbrook comes to recover a tenth rebound which allows him to validate a new triple-double. The record is drowned! Personal statistics of the ” Brodie ” at the end of the meeting: 28 points, 13 rebounds and… 21 assists. The story had just stammered and Russell entered a little more into the legend, that of the extraordinary players that the NBA saw fly in its firmaments. He had just reached the fateful threshold of 182 TD. What no one had done before.
That’s not all ! In a single season, he is always responsible for the record for the number of triple-doubles achieved. 42 in 2016-2017! The same season that dedicated the former Thunder Most Valuable Player.
The rebound that gave Russell Westbrook his record-breaking 182nd triple-double 🙌 pic.twitter.com/8GOr9vOZSx
– ESPN (@espn) May 11, 2021
The triple-double is not a fixed, selfish or opaque datum. It is modular, extensible and therefore has many derivatives. Indeed, it is plausible to succeed in a double-triple-double. If applicable, the affected player will need to compile at least 20 units in three different stat categories. The only ones to have achieved this feat to date, at least since the birth of the NBA, are Wilt Chamberlain (1968) and Russell Westbrook (2019). In the same vein, the quadruple-double is also feasible. It will be for the player to obtain a score equal to or greater than 10 in four statistical categories including points, rebounds, assists, blocks or interceptions. Officially, only four players have been able to tame this priceless holy grail: Nate Thurmond (1974), Alvin Robertson (1986), Hakeem Olajuwon (1990) and David Robinson (1994).