Sports Reference Blog

We Have Details on 99% of Triple-Doubles in NBA History

Posted by Mike Lynch on November 27, 2019

As we continue to make efforts to flesh out as many historical NBA box scores as possible, one of the benefits is being able to capture many of the most outstanding individual efforts in NBA history. A prior example is that we have shooting numbers for all but one 50-point game in NBA history. Recently, we were curious to see how robust our coverage of NBA triple-doubles is. We're happy to report that we believe we have details on 99% of the triple-doubles in NBA history (well, technically it's only 98.6%, but we'll round up).

Through the November 26, 2019, it is our belief, based on research, that there have been 2,613 regular season triple-doubles and 231 postseason triple-doubles in NBA history. We have the particulars on 2,574 of the regular season ones and all 231 of the playoff ones. That means that out of 2,844 triple-doubles, we're missing details on 39 of them. The main culprit here is Bob Cousy, for whom we're missing details on 15 of his 33 career triple-doubles. Here's a list of the players for whom we're missing at least one triple-double:

The vast majority of the "missing" triple-doubles are from the 50s and 60s. The most recent one missing is a Billy Cunningham triple-double from the 1974-75 season. The only others missing from the 70s are John Havlicek (1969-70), Norm Van Lier (1970-71) and Wes Unseld (1970-71).

We're confident that our triple-double coverage is 100% complete back to the 1975-76 season. One of the reasons that some of the earlier ones are missing is because not even teams themselves tracked triple-doubles before Magic Johnson made them a phenomenon in 1979-80. Even though Oscar Robertson is the all-time leader in triple-doubles, the term "triple-double" didn't even exist during his career. Consequently, many team media guides will print "since 1979-80" when they list their triple-doubles.

If you have any information on triple-doubles we seem to be missing, please let us know, so that we can add the details to the appropriate box score.

14 Responses to “We Have Details on 99% of Triple-Doubles in NBA History”

  1. MCJ Says:

    It appears that you have 99% coverage of all point/rebound/assist triple-doubles.  Unfortunately, because they weren’t tracked, we’ll likely never know anything about block or steal iterations of the triple double that occurred prior to the early 70’s.

    Good work with the data available though!

  2. garret Says:

    I thinks it very interesting that you took the time to look at the stats in that much detail, really shows you love your job keep up the hard work!

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  5. Williamnut Says:

    Who's traveled to usa

    I have only been to u. s twice: Once on a 2 week trip in NYC and virginia (for example DC), And another flying visit to NYC.

    New York totally lived up to the hype to me and also to other major world cities (Hong Kong, Dubai, Istanbul) And lived both in London and Paris, New York really felt like the centre of the world. This astonished me somewhat, As you read so much nowadays about how it's lost its edge thanks to hard to follow immigration policies, And how London is now more open and multicultural but I didn't feel this at all. London and Paris felt slightly parochial by comparison. You get the impression that not much fazes New Yorkers.

    I was surprised at the squalor of the public system (Subways, busses, Public piazzas) in comparison to the opulence of the private (physician offices, cafes, dining) As I'd always had the impression that NY was a bit more lefty than the rest of the US. Paris is the opposite public toilets are often nicer than those in restaurants! The tube/mtro are SO much cleaner and more efficient the only source of accumulated on the subway seemed to be tramps and hobos! However I was pleased at the extensive gentrification in Manhattan even Harlem felt vibrant and lively, If not reliable though I never ventured to the Bronx or Queens. Buildings can be a lot more dilapidated in poorer areas of Paris/London. The natural setting of NYC on the harbour and all those islands is gorgeous, And something that doesn't get talked about enough. It beats landlocked London and Paris absolute. I visited in summer both times and contrary to what I'd been lead to believe found the climate pleasant and warm without being too hot and muggy.

    DC was quieter and leafier than I was anticipating. most certainly not a world city. I was surprised at the level of intact Victorian architecture there is in both DC and NYC your impression in Europe from the movies is that everything in the US is brand new, Which is simply not true.

    The rest of the state Virginia did live up to my image of the US vast distances, tape malls, Big cars, Big people young and old, Fast food in every state! Another thing that pretty spanish girls struck me was that every item has a slightly 1990s feel the malls, The fonts used on public signage other exercises surprised me; the summer climate and the scenery are gorgeous : Constant mediterranean sea sunshine but with lush green almost English scenery. With smaller roads and more thoughtful further advancement (Less haphazard sprawl) It would be a paradise it seems a shame to spoil that countryside with pointless freeways and parking lots on a, This would never be allowed in the UK where we are much more careful with our space.

    Generally though I was surprised at how unspoilt a variety of it is, Particularly out in the wild you can see for miles across virgin forest: In the european union, It is a bit more densely populated so similar vistas are always peppered with villages and roads and farms.

    The food in New York and DC I discovered to be amazing (Which i expected) But Virginia sadly was revolting all fast food and even when you found the odd independent guesthouse and caf the portions were obscene and tasted like cardboard.

    Obviously these are random musings, And totally fuzy. I'm sure someone will come back saying that New York was actually a big let down and that you can eat really well in Virginia!

    Would become to hear what Americans' thoughts were on first visiting the UK/Europe?

    I actually had similar impressions to you. I too felt much of the US felt a slight retro, The 'slight 1990s feel' you take a look at. LA even felt very '20th century' to me, Even say sunset Blvd, Just the look off the buildings, the store fronts, A lot of the facilities. Coming from Australia I thought California would look extremely modern but in some ways this task seemed a bit dated, In a reasonably good way.

    I was a huge fan of NYC before I journeyed and agree, It still appears like the no. 1 city you can buy despite London, tokyo, Shanghai knocking on it's doorstep. Tokyo might have lots more people, London might challenge it as the world 'financial centre' or have people who speak more languages, But that counts for nothing when you actually visit ny: It's a mentality, It is THE penultimate 'big city' on the internet and the rest are just imitators. The first skyscraper around the world, The Flatiron structure, was in NY, And now don't you others forget that lol.

    Yes the subways are grungy, And NYC can be gritty: But you know what, I of that ranking. NY has a everlasting quality about it: I feel it will always have that strong 'New York' feel that transplants cannot remove or time will not change. Harlem felt like a timewarp in the birthday 1970s, There wasn't as much gentrification as i believed.

    I went to the US somebody in charge of last year for 6 weeks. with Australia, It actually felt like a bizarro parallel world in a way: Same disaparate suburbs, take out joints (a great deal more chain dominated than here, And those huge billboards!), People driving on the most appropriate, American accents absolutely the world over (Felt like I'd entered into a TV). City centres felt even MORE dead than australian cities, with many exceptions. the best cities were probably NY, NOLA, boston, digicam, hillcrest and parts of LA. LA is actually quite a good city. DC also happily surprised me. no hole in the wall diners and prevalence of fast food was a bit depressing, Also Holiday Inns on the inter state was just a little weird.

    Americans themselves seem quite different to Australians. a fraction of the staff in restaurants and diners down south were really nice though. I do get the impression that it can be a hostile place, many people behaving like jerks. I was scolded by the immigration official for being unsure of how to use a complex device i'd never used before, And called names by a small grouping firefighters lol.

    By the time I actually went to Europe I was as well versed on what I would see there as probably 90% of folks that had already been there, So not much came as a tornado. however,though:

    1. The people were habitually well dressed. They did not dress in an exceptionally exotic style, But much as American upper middle-class "Yuppies" (Or very white Manhattanites) suit.

    2. the lack of ethnic restaurants across Spain. Even in the capital city's phone book print ads, Listings for restaurants serving food from different regions of Spain vastly outnumbered restaurants serving foreign cuisines. Despite the large ethnic communities found in some places throughout Spain (Ecuadorians, Pakistanis, or anything else,.,and so.), Few eateries serving those types of cuisine could be found. of india, Ethiopian, japanese people, far east, thai, and so forth,accessories.

    3. The role bet by "bares" In spanish tongue culture. Are generally places devoted to the intake of alcohol; as a rule bar food is a second thought (Although an increasing number of bars are known for their food) And you're feeling weird NOT ordering alcohol. Children or teenagers are rarely seen in them, And might even be restricted from entering them by local laws. vacation, Bars are more places of socialization, And have excellent desserts from my experience (Bocadillos and in addition). occasional, through the day.

    4. The apparent uniformity of some parts of the culture. foods are one, Bares are another, are used to help. Spanish people seem at ease with less diversity and more "Normalcy" Than us americans, Or we have less of an "sustainable" and "clever" Sector in the Spanish customer base.

    5. a defieicency of choice in soft drinks. In most American filling stations, There is a myriad selection of pops in both diet and regular varieties. nothing else. And those carbonated drinks seem half the time to be destined towards mixing with alcohol.

    6. all the cliquishness of Spaniards. single in spanish Spaniards always appear to be in groups. This can manufacture them seem standoffish and cold for a solo traveler, As their social needs are met by the group and they have no reason to communicate with you. nevertheless, after getting alone, Or with only one one else, items friendly, possibly even more than Americans.

    7. How little readers are on the non urban autopistas (Freeways). inside a cities, There is blockage that rival similar sized American cities, But near them, There are shockingly few people traveling between cities in private vehicles, durable autopistas being toll free (significantly as I know). The little traffic you see mainly is made of buses and trucks.

    I went to the US now last year for 6 weeks. produced by Australia, It actually felt like a bizarro parallel galaxy in a way: Same vast suburbs, fastfood joints (still more chain dominated than here, And those huge advertisements!), People driving on suitable, American accents absolutely in every location (Felt like I'd entered into a TV). City centres felt even MORE dead than australian cities, by incorporating exceptions. the best cities were probably NY, NOLA, boston, power, hillcrest and parts of LA. LA is actually quite a motivating city. DC also pleased me. the lack of hole in the wall diners and prevalence of fast food was a bit depressing, Also Holiday Inns on the inter state was sort of weird.

    Americans themselves seem quite different to Australians. many of the staff in restaurants and diners down south were really nice though. I do get the idea that it can be a hostile place, amount of people behaving like jerks. I was scolded by the immigration official for not understanding how to use a complex device i'd never used before, And called names by several firefighters lol.

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