What is a Double Double in Basketball – Full Explanation

If you’re new to watching or playing the game of basketball, you may have come across some basketball terms and jargon that are fairly used every day. One such term is called a double-double.

Well, so what is a double double in basketball? How common is it? Who has the most double-doubles in NBA history?

Stick around as we give you a full explanation of what a double double in basketball is, and answer all of these questions for you.

What is a Double-Double in Basketball?

Simply put, a double-double is when a basketball player achieves double figures in two or more of the five main statistical categories; points, assists, blocks, steals, and rebounds.

Before we get further, let’s take a look at each of these statistical categories so we better understand what they are.


Points are usually the easiest of the five categories of stats. Most star NBA players like LeBron James usually achieve score digit points in almost every game they play.

Scoring ten or more points comes down to scoring 4 three-pointers such as long-range shots or 5 two-pointers like dunks.

Scoring 20-plus points in a single game is very common among established NBA star players.


Point guards and small forwards are usually the ones with the most assists in games. This is because they are the ones who handle the ball most of the time.

Currently, Trae Young who currently plays for the Atlanta Hawks is the NBA player with the most assists.


Rebounds are another statistic that counts for a double double in basketball.

Players who play as centers and power forwards are usually those who have the most chances of making rebounds as they are positioned under the rim.

Wilt Chamberlain is the player with the most rebounds in NBA history.


Blocks are one of the most difficult stats to achieve in basketball. The highest number of blocks made in a single NBA game is 17, a record set by Elmore Smith in 1973. To this day, no one has broken the record.

The NBA career leader in blocks is Hakeem Olajuwon who has made 3830 blocks in 1238 games.


Similar to blocks, steals are also one of the most difficult stats to make in basketball. John Stockton is the NBA all-time leader in steals with 3265 steals in his career.

In the past, a basketball player could specialize in one area of the game and become an expert at it.

Dennis Rodman, for example, was a great defender and rebounder but not a good scorer.

However, in today’s game, coaches prefer having versatile players. A versatile player is one who can score, block, and make assists and rebounds.

Being a versatile player means you can do so much on the court which could easily lead to achieving a double double in basketball games.

So, if you’re good at shooting, you could develop your blocking skills. If you’re good at blocking the ball, you could get better at dribbling and passing the ball.

Having these multiple skillsets will easily guarantee you a spot on the team as coaches prefer having these types of versatile players on their team.

Also, teammates can rely on a player who can defend and score at the same time.

How Common is it to achieve a Double Double in Basketball?

The most common combination of a double-double in basketball is usually points and rebounds. This is usually achieved by big men like Tim Duncan, Dwight Howard, and Shaquille O’Neal.

The next common combination of double-doubles is points and assists usually achieved by guards such as Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook.

Achieving double figures in steals or blocks is a rare feat. So far, only 17 players in NBA history have ever recorded more than 10 steals in a game. Blocks, however, are a little common to achieve compared to steals.

Players with the Most Double-Doubles in NBA History

double double in basketball

Getting drafted into the NBA is a major achievement for most players. However, achieving a double-double for most of the games played in professional basketball is an accomplishment on its own.

Currently, Tim Duncan is the player with the most regular-season double doubles of all time in the NBA. In his 19-year career in the NBA, he achieved 841 double-doubles.

The second player with the most double doubles in the NBA is Karl Malone who achieved 814 double doubles. Third on the list is Hakeem Olajuwon who made 775 double doubles.

Below is a table of the top 10 players with the most double doubles in NBA history.

PlayerCareer Double Doubles
Tim Duncan841
Karl Malone814
Hakeem Olajuwon775
Dwight Howard748
Kevin Garnett742
Shaquille O’Neal727
John Stockton714
Charles Barkley710
Patrick Ewing580
David Robinson544


Who Has The Most Double-Doubles In NBA History?

Tim Duncan has the most career double doubles in NBA history with 841 double-doubles.

Who is the Youngest Player to Achieve a Double-Double in the NBA?

Tracy McGrady is the youngest player to record a double double in NBA.


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