What is a Double Double in Basketball? Basketball 101

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Would you like to know what is a double-double in basketball? Well, the term double-double is a very common term used within basketball circles. It is okay if you do not know what this term means as we are going to help you out with this. 

We understand that it is essential to understand what a double-double is and know if it affects the game. Well, that is if it does so in any way. Understandably, you can get confused in a conversation if you are speaking to someone who uses the term, and you are not aware of what it means, so today we will be taking a very in-depth look at the term double-double. 

When we are finished, you will have a clear understanding of what is a double-double in basketball.

What Does the Term Double-Double Mean in BasketballWhat Does the Term Double-Double Mean in Basketball?

There are five positive statistical categories in basketball. These categories include points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks. For a player to achieve a double-double, they must first score at least 10 points in two of the major positive categories. 

The majority of the double-doubles made in the NBA are comprised of points and something else. Are any of you wondering why that is? Is it really true that points are the easiest statistical category to record in the NBA? These are questions for another time.

For some players based on their position or based on their skills and playing style, double-doubles are easier to get than other players that don’t have the same skill sets or play in positions that don’t offer a lot of opportunities for them to get double-doubles. With that said, like anything worth achieving double-doubles to take some amount of effort. 

They can be achieved if the player wants them bad enough and is willing to put in the effort to get them. Russell Westbrook is the king of triple-doubles, but as you all know, he did not get them by standing around waiting for the ball to come to him he works hard on every play. To get double-doubles, it is quite similar. Players need to work hard to accumulate stat points.

Which NBA Player Holds the Record for the Most Double-DoublesWhich NBA Player Holds the Record for the Most Double-Doubles?

The biggest double-double machine in the NBA that you can almost guarantee a double-double from every single night is Andre Drummond. Andre started this season with the Detroit Pistons but was then traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers before the NBA trade deadline. 

In the 2018 to 2019 regular season, Andre Drummond had 69 double-double games. Andre is a pretty big guy that is a reasonably good post player, so getting points isn’t exactly difficult for him. In addition to this, he is a rebounding machine that has excellent anticipation that he uses to grab a lot of offensive rebounds. 

He is also a very capable defensive rebounder. The player that has accumulated the most double-doubles in the history of the NBA is the great Tim Duncan. Tim Duncan only played for the San Antonio Spurs throughout his career. Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker pretty much dominated the Western Conference at the height of their games. 

Tim Duncan has the most double-doubles in the history of the NBA with a whopping 841 double-doubles. These double-doubles consist of points and rebounds.

Who is the Youngest Player to Record a Double-DoubleWho is the Youngest Player to Record a Double-DoubleWho is the Youngest Player to Record a Double-Double?

In April of 2018, while he was still a rookie, Markelle Fultz became the youngest player to record a double-double in the history of the NBA. He was still playing for the Philadelphia 76ers at that point and made history against the Milwaukee Bucks. 

This double-double was special because it was not just a double-double. It was a part of a triple-double for a 19-year-old. If you are not familiar with this name, Markelle Fultz was selected with the number one overall pick by the Philadelphia 76ers in the 2017 NBA draft. 

Unfortunately, Fultz picked up a shoulder injury that severely hampered his rookie efforts. He was traded to the Orlando Magic in 2019. We almost forgot. Fultz had 13-10-10 in his record-setting game.

Who is the Oldest Player to Record a Double-DoubleWho is the Oldest Player to Record a Double-Double?

Karl Malone, aka “The Mailman” is the oldest player to have recorded a double-double in the NBA. His double-double record is also exceptional because it was a part of a triple-double effort. This double-double was done on November 28th, 2003, against the San Antonio Spurs. 

At this time, Karl Malone was playing his only season with the Los Angeles Lakers. In this game, he had 10 points to go along with 11 boards and 10 dimes. Karl Malone is a Hall of Famer that played 18 seasons with the Utah Jazz and was a part of a legendary duo with John Stockton. This NBA great is a two-time NBA MVP and a 14-time NBA All-Star. He also managed to be the NBA All-Star game MVP twice in his career. He was also pretty good at playing defense as he was named to the all-defensive first team three times in the late 90s.

Top 10 Players with the Most Double-Doubles in NBA HistoryTop 10 Players with the Most Double-Doubles in NBA History

There are so many great players with great stats throughout the history of the league. Here are the 10 players with the most double-doubles in NBA history.

1. Tim Duncan – 841 Double-Doubles
Tim Duncan played 19 years with the San Antonio Spurs before retiring in 2016. Tim Duncan was a 6’11” power forward that was renowned for his use of the glass. He was drafted 1st overall by the San Antonio Spurs in the 1997 NBA draft. During his 19 years in the NBA, he was a 15-time all-star and 5-time NBA Champion that averaged 19PTS, 11RB, and 3AST.

2. Karl Malone – 811 Double-Doubles
Karl Malone played 18 years with the Utah Jazz and 1 season with the Los Angeles Lakers before retiring in 2004. Karl Malone was a 6’9” power forward nicknamed “The Mailman” due to his dependability.

He was drafted 13th overall by the Utah Jazz in the 1985 NBA draft. During his 19 years in the NBA, he was a 14-time all-star and 2-time NBA MVP that averaged 25PTS, 10RB, and 3AST.

3. Hakeem Olajuwon – 774 Double-Doubles
Hakeem Olajuwon played 18 years in the NBA before retiring in 2002. Hakeem Olajuwon was a 7’0” power forward that was renowned for his effortless dreamlike dunking abilities. He was drafted 1st overall by the Huston Rockets in the 1984 NBA draft.

During his 18 years in the NBA, he was a 12-time all-star and 2-time NBA Champion that averaged 22PTS, 11RB, and 3AST.

4. Kevin Garnett – 741 Double-Doubles
Kevin Garnett played 21 years in the NBA for the T-wolves, Celtics, and Nets before retiring in 2016. Kevin Garnett was a 6’11″ power forward that arguably formed the first big three with Paul Pierce and Ray Allen.
He was drafted 5th overall by Timberwolves in the 1995 NBA draft. During his 21 years in the NBA, he was a 15-time all-star and an NBA Champion that averaged 18PTS, 10RB, and 4AST.

Top 10 Players with the Most Double-Doubles in NBA History
5. Shaquille O’Neal – 727 Double-Doubles
Shaquille O’Neal played 19 years in the NBA for multiple years before retiring in 2011. Shaquille O’Neal was a 7’1” center that is arguable the most dominant player to have ever played the game.

He was drafted 1st overall by the Orlando Magic in the 1992 NBA draft. During his 19 years in the NBA, he was a 15-time all-star and 4-time NBA Champion that averaged 23PTS, 11RB, and 2AST.

6. Charles Barkley – 706 Double-Doubles
Charles Barkley played 16 years in the NBA with the 76ers, Suns, and Rockets. Charles Barkley was a 6’6” power forward that was renowned for his strength. He was drafted 5th overall by the Philadelphia 76ers in the 1984 NBA draft. During his 16 years in the NBA, he was an 11-time all-star and an NBA MVP that averaged 22PTS, 11RB, and 4AST.

7. Dwight Howard – 705 Double-Doubles
Dwight Howard has so far played 16 years in the NBA. Dwight Howard is a 6’10” center that is renowned for his Superman-like jumping ability. He was drafted 1st overall by the Orlando Magic in the 2004 NBA draft.

During his 16 years in the NBA, he is an 8-time all-star and 3-time NBA Defensive player of the year that is averaging 17PTS and 12RB.

8. Patrick Ewing – 580 Double-Doubles
Patrick Ewing played most of his 17 years in the NBA with the Knicks. He retired from professional basketball in 2002. Patrick Ewing was a 7’0” center that is revered by all Knicks fans.

He was drafted 1st overall by the New York Knicks in the 1985 NBA draft. During his 17 years in the NBA, he was an 11-time all-star that averaged 21PTS, 9RB, and 2AST.

9. David Robinson – 543 Double-Doubles
David Robinson played 14 years with the San Antonio Spurs before retiring in 2003. David Robinson was a 7’1” center that was nicknamed “The Admiral.” He was drafted 1st overall by the San Antonio Spurs in the 1987 NBA draft.

During his 14 years in the NBA, he was a 10-time all-star and 2-time NBA Champion that averaged 21PTS, 10RB, and 3AST.

10. Pau Gasol – 520 Double-Doubles
Pau Gasol has so far played 19 years in the NBA. Pau Gasol is a 7’0” center that has won multiple championships. He was drafted 3rd overall by the Atlanta Hawks in the 2001 NBA draft. During his 19 years in the NBA, he is a 6-time all-star and 2-time NBA Champion that is averaging 17PTS, 9RB, and 3AST.

Wrapping Things Up: Double-Double in Basketball

Most of the NBA double-double leaders are big men because it is easier to consistently grab boards at that position to go along with your points. Double-doubles are good indicators of a player’s strength and effort in games. Until next time ballers, keep doubling up!

If you found this post helpful, you’re definitely going to like our other FAQ articles here.

More engaging basketball FAQ posts here:

> What Does +/- Mean in Basketball?

> What is a Triple Double in Basketball?

> What Does Bonus Mean in Basketball?

Hoops Addict
Hoops Addict

Hoops Addict was created to help basketball fans of all ages learn more about the sport and find the best basketball gear to improve their ability to hoop. He has been a huge basketball fan for decades, watching thousands of basketball games through the years to learn the ins and outs of the game.

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