Double-Double In Basketball: What Is It And How Is It Achieved?

When they step on a court, all basketball players have the same goal: to be able to do amazing things. The double-double in basketball is one of those things that they yearn to achieve.

The double-double is a personal statistical achievement in basketball that a player can obtain if they are able to achieve specific requirements during a game. It is not something that can be reached easily, but it is not as difficult as getting a triple-double.

Be sure to read this article to the end if you want to know more about double-doubles, such as their definition, how they can be achieved, the skills and traits a player must have, and more.

What is a double-double in basketball?

A double-double is defined in basketball as when a player has reached double digits in two of the game’s five statistical categories, which are points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocked shots. The combination of points and rebounds most often results in a double-double, followed by the combination of points and assists.

The double-double is a great asset for a player and can be used to measure and/or evaluate the value that a player can have in the market when looking for a good contract.

How do you get a double-double in basketball?

The term “double-double” refers to the achievement of reaching double-digit totals in two of the following five statistical categories over the course of a single game: points scored, rebounds grabbed, assists dished, blocks or steals made.

Let’s look at each of these categories in more detail:

  • Points: reaching double digits in points scored during a game is probably the least difficult accomplishment for a player to achieve, and is often the first category players reach during a game. All things considered, it only takes five baskets, or even less if you are good at the three-point shot. It is not unheard of for players to score 10 points in the first half of the game, and often even in the first quarter.
  • Rebounding: The big men (power forwards and centers) on the court will spend most of their time under the basket, which makes it much easier for them to record 10 rebounds in a single game than it will be for the other players on the court. It is expected that power forwards will receive more opportunities to grab rebounds than power forwards, although this may depend on the style of play.
  • Assists: It is much easier for the ball handlers on the court, usually the point guard and small forward, to record 10 assists in a single game than for any other player. When there is a heavy emphasis on passing the ball, it will be difficult for most players to accumulate a high point total, but the more skilled players will be able to do so.
  • Steals: It is incredibly difficult to record ten values in a single game in the current game because of how fast the game is played. Throughout the entire 2018-2019 NBA season, there was not a single team that recorded an average of more than 10 steals per game as a collective unit (not including individual players).
  • Blocks: The difficulty of recording 10 blocks in a single game is going to be comparable to the difficulty of recording 10 steals in a single game. It is one of the most challenging stats to achieve for a double-double hands down.

When it comes to playing basketball, achieving a double-double isn’t the most impressive feat, and it won’t be nearly as treasured as achieving a triple-double. However, the only way to achieve a triple-double is if you first achieve a double-double.

Characteristics and skills needed to achieve double-doubles

In my view, getting a double-double in basketball takes a lot more talent than being able to pass the ball, grab rebounds, score points, and steal or block shots.

It doesn’t matter if you’re the best player in the world or not; I wouldn’t expect anyone to record a double-double unless they also had the following three characteristics:

  1. High basketball IQ: this means that if you play smart and make the right judgments while on the court, you will put yourself in a much better position to rack up a double-double. If you play to your talent and the strengths of your teammates, things will work out well for you.
  2. Managing playing time: double-doubles in a single game are not easy to achieve, and you will need a significant amount of playing time to do so. When you are not actively participating in the game, it will be difficult to record a double-double, but it is not impossible.
  3. Work ethic: No player is going to record a double-double if they are not putting in significant effort. If you want to get a double-double, you have to be determined and maintain that determination throughout all four quarters of the game.

If you have these three characteristics, getting a double-double in basketball will be much more feasible for you. Even if you are not given the opportunity to play right now, possessing the skills of a high basketball IQ and excellent coaching discipline will ultimately earn you the chance.

At that point, it’s more about making the most of opportunities to encourage your coach to give you more playing time. You can do this by demonstrating your ability to perform well under pressure.

Example of a double-double in basketball

Example references Double-Double

A player has achieved a double-double in basketball when he reaches double digits (ten or more) in at least two of the five major basketball statistical categories (points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks), respectively. Points and rebounds are the most common ways for big men to record a double-double, while points and assists are the most common ways for guards to achieve one.

There are a number of different variations of the double double, and some of these variations are seen more frequently than others. A player is much more likely to get double-digit totals in points, rebounds, or assists than he is in blocks or steals.

For example, a game in which a player scores 10 points and grabs 10 rebounds is considered a somewhat usual double-double, but a game in which a player scores 10 points and steals 10 balls is considered an extremely unusual performance.

Two current clear references for double-doubles in the NBA are Anthony Davis of the Los Angeles Lakers, who is averaging more than 27 points and more than 12 rebounds per game. The other reference would be Tyrese Halliburton, who is averaging over 19 points and just over 10 assists per game.

Top 10 players with the most double-doubles in the NBA

1Tim Duncan - Photo ProfileTim Duncan841
2Karl Malone - Photo ProfileKarl Malone814
3Hakeem Olajuwon - Photo ProfileHakeem Olajuwon775
4Dwight Howard - Photo ProfileDwight Howard748
5Kevin Garnett - Photo ProfileKevin Garnett742
6Shaquille O'Neal - Photo ProfileShaquille O'Neal727
7John Stockton - Photo ProfileJohn Stockton714
8Charles Barkley - Photo ProfileCharles Barkley710
9Patrick Ewing - Photo ProfilePatrick Ewing580
10David Robinson - Photo ProfileDavid Robinson544

Frequently asked questions about double-doubles in basketball

What is the longest streak of double-doubles in basketball?

Wilt Chamberlain now holds the record for the longest consecutive active double-double in basketball. Between 1964 and 1967, he had a streak of 227 consecutive games with a double-double. He also has the second-longest streak (220 games) and the third-longest (133 games).

Who has recorded the most double-doubles in the NBA?

Who holds the record for being the oldest player to record a double-double?

Who was the youngest player to record a double-double?


The ability to achieve a triple-double, a double-double in basketball, or more during a single game is used as a metric to measure the performance of players in that game. Ideally for coaches to understand their capabilities and design appropriate strategies for their players to take into account the above aspects. We can only hope that in the not-too-distant future we will see even more amazing statistics.

If you want to learn more about the characteristics and concepts of basketball, I invite you to visit our page where we talk and deepen in depth about the basics of basketball.

Esteban Gomes

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