Grabbing double-doubles is no easy feat, even if a player dominates the court with size and skill. Scoring over 10 points in an NBA game might look easy to the best players, but following that up with 10 rebounds or 10 assists is very rare. To have over 200 double-doubles in an entire career is hard enough but there are some former star players who have managed to double that number.
It is time to rank the 15 players who captured the most double-doubles over their careers in NBA history. It is not easy to put up big numbers on a consistent basis because as great as these players were, the competition at their respective positions was very high. Here are the 15 former All-Star players who have the most double-doubles in NBA history, be it points/rebounds or points/assists. While many of these names are expected, some players stand out as truly all-time great players.
As a disclaimer, this list will be generated as of the 1983-84 season so major double-double machines such as Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell will not appear on this list. Rather, modern players playing in an era with advanced statistical tracking will give us a better indication of which players were truly double-double machines during modern NBA history.
15. Jason Kidd - 487
Jason Kidd was an all-time great point guard, dominating both ends of the court with his basketball IQ and imposing presence. A 6’4” point guard with a powerful body, Kidd was able to lead teams to the Finals because he was a leader of the highest order. Of course, he was also an all-time great playmaker who played in an era with other great passers including Steve Nash and Gary Payton.
But Kidd is the only one out of the three to make the top-15 list of total double-doubles, using his strength and basketball IQ to score the ball in the paint and later improving his shot as he aged. As a passer, Kidd could make any pass on the court and made his teammates better by his presence alone. 487 double-doubles as a point guard is amazing and only one other guard will appear on this list.
14. Kevin Willis - 488
A 7’0” big man and former All-Star, Kevin Willis had a career that lasted until his 40s. The center knew how to impact the game, using his size and length to be a factor for the many teams he played for including the Hawks, Raptors, and Rockets. The big man made the All-Star Team in 1992 by averaging 18.3 PPG and 15.5 RPG and had a total of 5 seasons averaging a double-double.
Playing into the 40s is a great way for a player to accumulate statistics, and that is what he did by the time he ended his career. Willis averaged 12.1 PPG and 8.4 RPG during his career but still managed to usurp Hall of Famer Jason Kidd in total double-doubles thanks to his scoring and rebounding ability.
13. Zach Randolph - 488
A bruising power forward who played under the rim, Zach Randolph is one of the most underrated All-Star players of his time. Randolph put up 488 double-doubles over his career, despite averaging 9.1 RPG over his time in the league. The 6’9” power forward had a solid mid-range jumper and post-game to get his points but had lower-body strength to box out bigger players.
Randolph played the game at his own pace and never had to play in a rush. While he was in his prime with the Portland Trail Blazers, the big man made his 2 All-Star Teams as a member of the Memphis Grizzlies. The Grit ‘n’ Grind style of play suited his game and he was able to accumulate double-doubles to earn him a spot on the top-15 list.
12. LeBron James - 509
LeBron James appears on most statistical rankings because he is simply a machine as a basketball player. We are all aware of his incredible scoring ability as the most unstoppable attacker of the basket in NBA history, but he has a perfect all-around game as well. The King can score and pass better than any small forward who played the game including Larry Bird.
James has over 500 double-doubles over his career and counting, which is astonishing for a non-big man to accomplish. LeBron is a great rebounder but never averaged 9.0 RPG for his career, which is why it is shocking to see him on this list. Even as a great passer, LeBron averaged over 9.0 APG twice in his career which means he accumulated double-doubles because his talent was simply too great.
11. Pau Gasol - 532
As a member of the Grizzlies, Lakers, Bulls, and Spurs; Pau Gasol was always a double-double threat. Many remember him from his time as Kobe Bryant’s sidekick with the Lakers, but Pau was a superstar when he played for Memphis. Gasol was a 7’0” power forward by nature, so he always had a height advantage when he played.
Even as a center, Pau was skilled enough to score against his opponents and had the length to pull down boards. As great as Kobe Bryant was, he does not have the last two championships of his carer without the great Spaniard and future Hall of Famer.
10. David Robinson - 544
The Admiral, David Robinson, averaged a double-double 9 seasons out of the 14 he played in his career. Robinson played his entire career with the San Antonio Spurs and is regarded as one of the most unselfish stars in NBA history thanks to his willingness to step aside for Tim Duncan. Robinson was an MVP player and Hall of Famer before Duncan arrived, but knew he had to let the future 5-time champion shine.
Nonetheless, Robinson was a double-double machine for the majority of his career and has amazing career averages of 21.1 PPG and 10.6 RPG. The Admiral was powerfully built with exceptional skills, which made it easy for him to grab rebounds and score the ball in the paint. Very few big men had Robinson’s overall talent, which is why he is top-10 on the list of most double-doubles.
9. Patrick Ewing - 580
A New York Knicks legend who dominated the paint with vigor and determination, Patrick Ewing put up nearly 600 double-doubles over his career despite averaging a shade under 10.0 RPG. The big man put up 21.0 PPG and 9.8 RPG in his Hall of Fame career, which resulted in 580 double-doubles. As a Knicks superstar, Ewing did everything except win an NBA title.
Looking back, very few players in his time could match what he did every night. The big man was consistent as a scorer and rebounder, never letting any player punk him in any regard. Despite playing against famous competitors such as Charles Barkley and Karl Malone, Ewing never let his opponents stop him from getting his numbers.
8. Charles Barkley - 710
Of course, Charles Barkley appears on this list. The 6’6” power forward was considered undersized as a scorer and rebounder at his position, but it did not affect him in any way. As a matter of fact, being undersized might have fueled Barkley’s aggression as a paint player. He never backed down from a challenge and made the game look easy at times because he was so powerful and tenacious on the block.
Barkley is one of the greatest players of his time and happened to play in a very competitive 90s landscape. Charles averaged 22.1 PPG and 11.7 RPG over his career, playing with the Suns and 76ers during his prime. The power forward never won an NBA title, but he is easily one of the most accomplished stars ever and 710 double-doubles is yet another achievement for him.
7. John Stockton - 714
The only guard besides Jason Kidd on this list, John Stockton is the greatest playmaker in NBA history. The point guard did not have to score too much when playing next to Karl Malone, but he was very capable of averaging 13.1 PPG over his career. As a knockdown shooter and efficient offensive player, Stockton picked his spots whenever Malone needed some help.
But Stockton made his name as a double-double threat thanks to his playmaking ability, leading the NBA in total assists by a wide margin. It is likely that no player will ever usurp what Stockton did on the court as a passer because he was a gifted floor general who happened to play with one of the most unstoppable forces ever in Karl Malone.
6. Shaquille O’Neal - 727
Shaquille O’Neal is quite “low” on this list because while 727 double-doubles is an insane number, it should have been much more. Other than Wilt Chamberlain, there hasn’t been a player in NBA history who dominated the game like Shaq. The big man was bigger, stronger, and more intimidating than any player we have ever seen.
O’Neal powered through defenses to average 23.7 PPG for his career and pulling in 10.9 RPG was an easy number for Shaq to achieve as a powerful man. Shaq is often criticized for not staying in better shape because his size and talent could have made him the greatest player ever, and also the man with the most double-doubles ever. Nonetheless, Shaq managed to grab the 6th spot with ease behind 5 other players.
5. Kevin Garnett - 742
The Big Ticket, Kevin Garnett, is considered one of the most impactful power forwards ever. After Tim Duncan and Karl Malone, Garnett’s name often appears as the greatest power forward ever. His intensity as a scorer and rebounder was unmatched, and the big man did not have the biggest body ever. As a finesse player, KG’s desire is what fueled his success.
Putting up over 700 double-doubles for a career can only be done if a player is consistent, something Garnett was for his entire career. He was an MVP player with the Timberwolves by dominating the scoring charts, and later became a defensive stalwart for the Boston Celtics. Garnett is one of the greats and is top-5 in total double-doubles.
4. Dwight Howard - 743
How Dwight Howard did not make the NBA 75th Anniversary Team is simply ridiculous considering how dominant he was early in his career. Howard was the best big man in the game for many years and was also one of the greatest defensive players we have ever seen. Dwight averaged 16.0 PPG and 12.0 RPG over his career, meaning he averaged a double-double for his career.
Howard put up over 740 double-doubles over his career, beating out Kevin Garnett by one and also having a chance to grab the #3 spot by the end of his career. Dwight was a ravenous rebounder, hauling in 10 rebounds in just a matter of minutes sometimes. The big man never had to worry about opposing bigs because of his strength and athleticism, and that makes him one of the greatest double-double threats ever.
3. Hakeem Olajuwon - 775
A Houston Rockets legend known for his exploits as a 2-time NBA champion and 2-time Finals MVP, Hakeem Olajuwon dominated every end of the floor. If “The Dream” is not a top-10 player ever on your list, then he is #11. The way he scored, rebounded, passed, and defended made him an elite big man of the highest order. Olajuwon is unsurprisingly on the list of most double-doubles ever, and he did it mainly through scoring and rebounding. The big man hardly had a stretch where he was off with his shot because he had the best post moves ever and was always a threat defensively.
Olajuwon was often required to put up monster stats for his team to win because the Rockets were a great team filled with role players. Without any other true star next to him, Hakeem knew what he had to do every night to win. The Dream is 3rd on the list although the next two players ahead of him distinguished themselves by quite a margin with their double-double exploits.
2. Karl Malone - 814
The great Karl Malone is the best player to ever play for the Utah Jazz and is the 2nd highest scorer in NBA history in total points. The big man had a perfect mid-range jumper and also solid low-post moves, and was adept at feeding off the passes from his Hall of Fame point guard, John Stockton. Malone put up 814 double-doubles over the 1,476 total games while averaging 25.0 PPG and 10.1 RPG.
Malone does not crack the top-10 list of all-time players for most people, but he is right outside it. His consistency as a scorer, athlete, and paint presence makes him a top-15 player with ease. He, alongside his teammate John Stockton, were incredible double-double threats and fed off each other every night. The fact that neither has an NBA championship to their names is truly amazing considering their talent and impact.
1. Tim Duncan - 841
Tim Duncan is widely regarded as the greatest power forward in NBA history, and for good reason. The San Antonio Spurs legend put up 841 double-doubles, meaning he had around 10 seasons of averaging a double-double to achieve this extraordinary feat. It is known that the legendary big man completed 19 seasons in the league with the Spurs, so he had plenty of time to put up monster statistics even in the latter years of his career.
Through 1,392 games, Duncan averaged 19.0 PPG and 10.8 RPG in 34.0 MPG over his career. The Spurs legend was adept at rebounding the ball on both sides of the court, using his basketball IQ and positioning to grab the board off the rim. As the greatest player in Spurs history, Duncan was also the focal point on offense and scored in double-digits with ease. As usual, Duncan is looking below at the competition at his position but also above every other player in putting up double-doubles.