What is a triple double in basketball?

Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves Mandatory Credit: Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports
Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves Mandatory Credit: Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports /

In the NBA and in basketball at all levels, winning is always what matters most. Eye-popping stat lines and gaudy individual numbers can lose their luster if they do not ultimately help the team accomplish their goal.

But oftentimes, certain statistics can be major indicators that a player impacted the game at a high level and contributed to winning. This is usually true of triple doubles.

What is a triple double?

A triple double is recorded when a player logs 10 or more of three statistical categories in the box score. For example, a stat line of 10 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists would constitute a triple double.

Points is of course the easiest category to reach double-digit numbers in. Above average post players will routinely log double-doubles by recording double-digit points and rebounds, but fall short of the triple-double because they lack stellar passing ability.

Triple doubles can also be accumulated by notching 10 or more steals or blocks as well, but these categories are notably harder to rack up numbers in. All this helps illustrate how difficult obtaining a triple double is. A player must have a very well-rounded game to even get close to recording one.

Who had the most triple doubles in 2022-23?

As such, only the most versatile and valuable players typically record triple doubles routinely. So it is fitting that Nikola Jokic held the record for most triple doubles last season. He put up 29 of them in the regular season before leading the Denver Nuggets to their first championship in the playoffs.

The next player behind Jokic in triple doubles was Domantas Sabonis with 14, then Luka Doncic at third place with 10. All three of these players consistently elevate their teams with their polished all-around play.

Timberwolves all-time leaders in triple doubles:

When looking at the history of the Minnesota Timberwolves, the franchise leader in triple doubles should surprise absolutely no one: Kevin Garnett. The Big Ticket holds a number of franchise records in Minnesota, and this is no exception.

These is the full list of triple doubles in Timberwolves history:

1. Kevin Garnett — 16

2. Ricky Rubio — 5

3. Kyle Anderson — 3

4. Kevin Love — 3

5. Karl-Anthony Towns — 2

6. Terrell Brandon — 2

7. Michael Williams — 2

8. Shabazz Napier — 1

9. Andrew Wiggins — 1

10. J.J. Barea — 1

11. Sam Cassell — 1

12. Chauncey Billups — 1

13. Bobby Jackson — 1

14. Tyrone Corbin — 1

Maybe the most notable entry here is Kyle Anderson, who climbed all the way to third on the list in just one season with the Timberwolves. It is very likely he passes Ricky Rubio for second place before the end of next season.

Anthony Edwards is certainly a contender to climb up this list sooner rather than later. He is yet to record his first career triple double, but should be reaching that goal in short order as his game continues expanding.

Next. 10 Worst free agent signings in Timberwolves history. dark