The triple-double might be the most flashy statistic that is measured every season. Only the most complete players can generate triple-doubles with ease, as shown by Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson in the 1960s. The legendary guard was an extremely athletic 6'6" point guard, so he had an advantage in grabbing rebounds while dominating the offense.
Since then, we have seen other great guards such as Russell Westbrook and James Harden shatter the mold. The open style of play and many more possessions in the game leads to much greater stats on the box score. Especially over the past few years, triple-doubles are becoming standard across the league. But which players have grabbed the most triple-doubles per season over the last decade? It is time to find out.
2011-2012 - Rajon Rondo (6)
Next Highest- Carmelo Anthony, J.J. Barea, Pau Gasol, Drew Gooden, Serge Ibaka, Andre Iguodala, Jarrett Jack, David Lee, Kyle Lowry, Joakim Noah, Ben Uzoh, Kemba Walker (1)
Rajon Rondo was one of the best pure point guards in the league during the 2012 season, averaging 11.9 PPG and a league-leading 11.7 APG. The point guard also chipped in 4.8 RPG in a season where he was by far the most impactful triple-double machine in the NBA.
Unsurprisingly, the Celtics point guard made his 3rd straight All-Star Team. The next-highest triple-double count was 1 each by 12 players. While Rondo got 6 triple-doubles in points, rebounds, and assists; only Serge Ibaka managed a triple-double with points, rebounds, and blocked shots.
2012-2013 - Rajon Rondo (5)
Next Highest- LeBron James (4)
The following season, Rajon Rondo once again led the NBA in triple-doubles. The Celtics franchise player averaged 13.7 PPG and 11.1 APG, once again leading the league in the latter. Rondo was considered one of the best guards in the league at this point and made his 4th straight All-Star Team.
Rondo just edged out a dominant LeBron James by one triple-double, while Kevin Durant and Paul Pierce managed 3 in the 2013 season. The fact that a 6’1” point guard can grab more triple-doubles than 3 larger forwards is a testament to Rondo’s versatility on the floor. Perhaps playing with Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett gave him the confidence to be effective at the point guard spot.
2013-2014 - Lance Stephenson (5)
Next Highest- Stephen Curry, Joakim Noah (4)
2014 might have been a strange year in the NBA, as Lance Stephenson beat out the likes of Stephen Curry (4), Joakim Noah (4), and Kevin Durant (3) for most triple-doubles in the NBA. One of the contenders for Most Improved Player, Stephenson had the best season of his career averaging 13.8 PPG, 7.2 RPG, and 4.6 APG for the Indiana Pacers.
Stephenson also had some very good games during the regular season, including triple-double performances in wins against the Oklahoma City Thunder and Boston Celtics (twice). Stephenson became one of the best players for the Pacers, and not even future MVP Stephen Curry could produce more triple-doubles than “Born Ready”.
2014-2015 - Russell Westbrook (11)
Next Highest- James Harden (4)
After an intriguing 2014 NBA season, the era of the new “Mr. Triple Double” began. Russell Westbrook led the league in triple-doubles, grabbing 11 which led the NBA over next-best James Harden (4 with the Houston Rockets). Westbrook started building his case as an MVP candidate in the 2015 season, averaging 28.1 PPG which led the NBA.
The 6’3” explosive point guard had some monster performances including 43 points, 11 rebounds, and 13 assists against the Houston Rockets on April 05, 2015, and a 49-point, 15-rebound, and 10-assist performance in an OT win against the Kings. Westbrook realized how easy it was for him to stuff the box score, and he would go on a tear soon enough.
2015-2016 - Russell Westbrook (18)
Next Highest- Draymond Green (13)
The following season, Westbrook once again led the NBA in triple-doubles with some stiff competition from Golden State Warriors leader, Draymond Green. Green put up 13 triple-doubles including a 29-point, 17-rebound, and 14-assist performance in an OT victory against the Nuggets.
But Westbrook was once again on a level of his own. The Thunder superstar had countless big performances, including 25 points, 11 rebounds, 19 assists in a victory against the Los Angeles Clippers. The point guard was beginning to understand how he is the best rebounding guard in the league and his athleticism helped him generate assists for his team with ease.
2016-2017 - Russell Westbrook (42)
Next Highest- James Harden (22)
Russell Westbrook would have his greatest triple-double season to date, notching 42 of them in his spectacular MVP season. The 2017 season was the best Westbrook played on an individual level, as he was completely unstoppable in all areas of the court. The only issue was that Kevin Durant was no longer with the team, and the Thunder’s success suffered as a result.
Westbrook had an iconic year, leading the league in triple-doubles for the first time since Oscar Robertson. Not only that, the point guard led the NBA in scoring and carried a weak Thunder team to the playoffs. There is no doubt Westbrook deserved the MVP Award in 2017, and his triple-double exploits were the best we had ever seen.
2017-2018 - Russell Westbrook (25)
Next Highest- LeBron James (18)
Russell Westbrook had another strong triple-double season for himself in 2018, edging out LeBron James. The King was a beast for the Cavaliers, putting up spectacular performances including a 44-point, 11-rebound, and an 11-assist game against the 76ers. But Westbrook was on another level again, carrying the Thunder alongside the newly-acquired Paul George.
Westbrook averaged a triple-double for the second-straight time, and it was clear the point guard was going to make that his new norm. Even if the Thunder did not have postseason success once again, Westbrook was by far the most dominant point guard on the stat-sheet every night and he would not be close to finished just yet.
2018-2019 - Russell Westbrook (34)
Next Highest- Nikola Jokic (12)
Despite the presence of future MVP and talented passing big man Nikola Jokic, Russell Westbrook had no problem leading the league in triple-doubles again. Being a point guard meant he controlled the ball for his team the majority of the time, allowing him to prosper as a scorer and passer. But Westbrook is also the greatest rebounding guard ever thanks to his athleticism.
A 20-point, 20-rebound, and 21-assist performance against the Lakers meant that Westbrook was just toying around with the game at this point. The point guard has an immediate physical advantage over any other guard in the game, and he showed it every night on the box score. Even if Westbrook did not lead the NBA in triple-doubles the following season, he would make it on top again.
2019-2020 - Luka Doncic (17)
Next Highest- LeBron James, Nikola Jokic (13)
Russell Westbrook would “only” put up 8 triple-doubles during the 2020 season with the Houston Rockets, mainly because he had to take a backseat role to an offensive superstar in James Harden. Nonetheless, the 2020 triple-double leader was Luka Doncic. The Mavericks superstar would only play in his second season, averaging 28.8 PPG and making his first All-Star Team.
But Luka put Dallas back on the map, and the Mavericks changed up their entire goal to win now with the Slovenian leading the way. 17 triple-doubles was an extraordinary feat by the second-year man, but Luka made it look effortless. He had 2 monster triple-doubles in a span of 4 days including 36-14-19 in a win against the Bucks and 34-20-12 in a win against the Kings. Doncic is coming for the throne of the NBA in short order, so the field better be wary.
2020-2021- Russell Westbrook (38)
Next Highest- Nikola Jokic (16)
Even if Denver Nuggets superstar Nikola Jokic won MVP and averaged an outstanding 8.3 APG as a center, Russell Westbrook blew away the competition as a triple-double machine. The Washington Wizards point guard drew early criticism for a slow start to the season and the fact he was traded after only one season with the Rockets, but the box score was Westbrook’s shining light.
The point guard averaged 22.2 PPG, 11.5 RPG, and 11.7 APG to average a triple-double for the 4th time in his future Hall of Fame career. Westbrook generates triple-doubles so easily now, and even if critics point to his lack of success in the postseason since Kevin Durant left his team, there is no denying the greatness he produces on an NBA court every night.