The NBA is a show of skill, sportsmanship, determination, and most importantly, hard work. With several teams and players competing, reaching the most incredible heights requires some dose of individual excellence. It also provides a source of entertainment and relaxation for teeming fans across the world. In Tanzania, basketball is a widely loved sport, uniting citizens across several age groups. Betting sites in Tanzania also allow citizens to get in on the game via enormous betting odds. Such was on display last Monday when former Oklahoma City Thunder’s man, Westbrook, broke the NBA’s triple-double record. A triple-double is regarded as one of the best things a basketball player can do in a game for those familiar with the sport. However, this may sound complex to the uninitiated
A triple-double is recorded in a basketball game when a player records double-digit hauls in assists, points, and rebounds. This is different from a double-double where the player only needs double-digit stats in two categories. A player has to score at least ten points, ten assists, and ten rebounds to record a triple-double. This undoubtedly translates to a basketballer having a great game. Though unrelated, triple-doubles may be considered similar to a hattrick in football when a soccer player scores three goals.
While the term’s origin is shrouded in controversy, the NBA began recording the triple-double statistic back in the 1979/80 season. However, the first-ever triple-double came decades earlier, in 1950. Philadelphia Warriors’ Andy Phillip recorded this feat with 17 points, ten assists, and ten rebounds against the Fort Wayne Pistons. Triple-doubles have since become a regular feature in NBA games, with several players recording multiple triple-doubles in their career. Here, we take a look at the NBA’s highest triple-double scorers in history.
The NBA’s Triple-Double Ladder
- LeBron James
In fifth place is Los Angeles Lakers LeBron James. The four-time NBA champion has ninety-nine career triple-doubles and is arguably one of the best basketball players of all time. He is also the only player in NBA history to have won the Championship with three different teams. During the 2011 to 2018 seasons, James featured in eight consecutive NBA finals, playing for the Miami Heat and Cleveland Cavaliers. LeBron also has two Olympic gold medals and four NBA Most Valuable Player Awards. The seventeen-time NBA All-Star player is big off the court as well and owns a stake in the English Premier League club, Liverpool.
- Jason Kidd
Los Angeles Lakers assistant coach Jason Kidd was a big-time player in his days. Standing at an impressive 6ft 4inches, the point guard was a massive threat with passes and steals. Kidd is fourth on the triple-double charts with a total of 107. Before going into management, Kidd was a ten-time NBA All-Star and two-time Olympic gold medalist. He won his only NBA title as a player with the Dallas Mavericks at the age of thirty-eight and retired in 2013. His second NBA title came as an assistant coach to the LA Lakers in 2020.
- Earvin Johnson
More popularly known as Magic Johnson, Earvin is widely regarded as one of the best NBA point guards of all time. With a towering height of 6ft 9 inches, he was a constant thorn in the sides of opposing players. Magic Johnson made a blistering start to life in the NBA, winning both the Championship and MVP titles as a rookie. In a career that spanned three stints and retirements, Johnson accumulated 138 triple-doubles to rank third highest of all-time in the NBA. He went on to play thirteen seasons with the Lakers, emerging an All-Star in twelve and winning five NBA championships. He also holds the record for the highest average assists per game with 11.2 and won the Olympics with the Dream Team in 1992.
- Oscar Robertson
The Big O is one of the NBA’s finest ever players. The now-retired Oscar Roberston was a point guard who featured for the Cincinnati Royals and Milwaukee Bucks between 1960 and 1974. During his fourteen seasons in the NBA, he won the MVP award once, was featured in the All-NBA team eleven times, and was a twelve-time All-Star. He also broke several records averaging a triple-double in the 1962 season – being one of the only two players to achieve the feat. Robertson was also voted as one of the 50 greatest NBA Players of all time in commemoration of the NBA’s 50th anniversary. His 180 career triple-doubles were the highest until last Monday when Rusell Westbrook set a new record.
- Russell Westbrook
Rusell Westbrook is the man of the moment. The Washington Wizards point guard is in his thirteenth NBA season and has been consistent in putting up numbers. At 32, Russell Westbrook now holds the record for the highest number of career triple-doubles in the NBA regular season with 182. Alongside Oscar Robertson, he’s the only player to have averaged a triple-double statistic at the end of the season, recording the feat four times – an NBA record. He also holds the record for the highest triple-doubles in a season with forty-two. In terms of accolades, he has one NBA MVP award, nine All-Star appearances, and one gold medal apiece from the FIBA World Championhip of 2010 and 2012 Olympics.
Speaking after his record-setting performance against the Atlanta Hawks, Westbrook had the following words; “It’s just a blessing, you put so much into the game, so much time, you sacrifice so much and to be able to mentioned with guys like Oscar, Magic (Johnson), Jason Kidd, it’s just something I never dreamt about as a young kid growing up L.A. I’m truly grateful for moments like this.” He also expressed gratitude to his teammates, coaches, and family for their support.
The NBA transcends the American shoreline with several fans in Tanzania and the rest of Africa. Betting sites in Tanzania record a high number of basketball stakes, perhaps due to the high number of Africans playing in the NBA. One of the major reasons why punters love basketball is its high odds. However, it’s advisable to read reviews of basketball sportsbooks in Tanzania before trusting them with your money. Mightytips helps punters in this regard by conducting comprehensive reviews of betting sites in Tanzania, so you don’t have to stress.