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What is Quadruple Double in Basketball?

A quadruple-double is a single-game achievement in which a player records double-digits in four out of five statistical categories. The five categories are points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks.

The most usual stats are points, rebounds, and assists. You will often see the box scores record stat lines such as 20 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists.

However, it’s the defensive categories like steals and blocks that make it a challenge for players to obtain double-digits.

How many NBA players have Quadruple Doubles?

The quadruple-double has been recorded five times (1) in National Basketball Association (NBA) history. Despite being in the record books five times, only four players accomplished the feat.

what is quadruple double in basketball

Three different players did it once, while Hakeem Olajuwon achieved it in two separate games. And he did it in a span of fewer than 30 days.

The list of players who have recorded a quadruple double is as follows:

  • Nate Thurmond, Chicago Bulls (vs. Atlanta Hawks, October 18, 1974): 22 points, 14 rebounds, 13 assists, 12 blocks
  • Alvin Robertson, San Antonio Spurs (vs. Phoenix Suns, February 18, 1986): 20 pts., 11 rebs., 10 asts., 10 steals
  • Hakeem Olajuwon, Houston Rockets (vs. Golden State Warriors, March 3, 1990): 29 pts., 18 rebs., 10 asts., 11 blks.
  • Hakeem Olajuwon, Houston Rockets (vs. Milwaukee Bucks, March 29, 1990): 18 pts., 16 rebs., 10 asts., 11 blks.
  • David Robinson, San Antonio Spurs (vs. Detroit Pistons, February 17, 1994): 34 pts., 10 rebs., 10 asts., 10 blks.

Who has the MOST Quadruple Doubles in NBA history?

Hakeem Olajuwon has the most quadruple doubles in NBA history so far with two.

But there were instances where other players almost achieved a quadruple-double more than once.

For example, Shaquille O’Neal posted 24 points, 28 rebounds, 15 blocks, and 8 assists with the Orlando Magic in 1993. He almost made it again in the 2001 NBA Finals against the Philadelphia 76ers. He recorded 28 points, 20 rebounds, 9 assists, and 8 blocks.

Another player who happened to be a victim of circumstance was Wilt Chamberlain. On record, he has posted multiple triple-doubles (three double-digit stats recorded).

But in his prime, blocks and steals were not yet officially recorded in the NBA. According to pundits, he could have recorded 10 or more blocks during those games. In fact, Wilt Chamberlain may have had more quadruple doubles than Olajuwon if those two stats were recorded at that time.

Has Anyone had a Quintuple Double in the NBA?

There were reports that Chamberlain indeed achieved a quintuple double (2). Unfortunately, blocks and steals were not taken into account.

If it was, his stat line would have been in the record books as the only quintuple double performance in NBA history.

According to basketball historians, it happened on March 18, 1968, when Chamberlain played for the Philadelphia 76ers. His official stats that game were 53 points, 32 rebounds, and 14 assists.

What wasn’t recorded by NBA officials were his 24 blocks and 11 steals. While many fans in the audience attested the feat, it’s still unclear if the reports are true.

Who was the Last Person to have a Quadruple-Double?

david-robinson-quadruple-double

Despite triple-doubles becoming more frequent in the NBA as of late, the last time a quadruple-double was achieved was more than 25 years ago.

David Robinson still holds the feat as the last person to have a quadruple-double.

But there’s one player that almost became a new quadruple-double member.

Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors posted 12 rebounds, 10 assists, and 10 steals on February 10, 2017 (3). This is the same player who averaged 11 points per game that season.

Unfortunately, Green decided to become unselfish and scored only 4 points. Had he scored six more, he would have been the latest member of the NBA’s quadruple-double club.

Types of Players who Record Quadruple-Doubles

With the exception of Alvin Robertson, only centers have recorded quadruple doubles in the NBA. Even with the likes of Chamberlain and O’Neal who have unofficial quadruple doubles, both are center players.

What makes centers more capable of achieving the feat is their size and presence underneath. Let’s face it: it’s great to be tall in basketball.

It is much rarer for guards to be able to block their opponents than it is for centers to make a steal. While steals are easier for smaller players, guards and forwards have to anticipate their opponents’ shots for them to block those.

Meanwhile, centers can intercept passes from inside while having a higher chance of blocking someone else’s shot inside the paint.

Other Multiple Statistical Records in the NBA

There are many other impressive statistical feats in the NBA other than the quadruple-double. There is the 5×5, or achieving 5 or more of all five categories (4).

For example, if I scored 10 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists, 5 steals, and 5 blocks. All my stats consist of 5 or more in every statistical category and I would have done a 5×5.

I personally think 5x5s exemplify a more well-rounded approach by a player in a basketball game.

While players do get 10 steals or blocks in quadruple doubles, it is rare for them to achieve 5 or more for both categories. We either see them with 10 blocks and 2 steals or probably the other way around.

It may seem easier than a triple-double or quadruple-double, but only a few players were able to post 5x5s in the NBA.

No less than 14 players in NBA history have recorded 5x5s since blocks and steals started to be recorded in 1976.

Once again, Olajuwon posted the most 5x5s in the NBA with six, followed by Andrei Kirilenko with three.

Here are the last ten 5x5s recorded in NBA history:

  • Jusuf Nurkic, Portland Trail Blazers (2019): 24 pts., 23 rebs., 7 asts., 5 blks., 5 stls.
  • Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans (2018): 12 pts., 16 rebs., 6 asts., 5 blks., 5 stls.
  • Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors (2015): 24 pts., 11 rebs., 8 asts., 5 blks., 5 stls.
  • Nicolas Batum, Portland Trail Blazers (2013): 11 pts., 5 rebs., 10 asts., 5 blks., 5 stls.
  • Andrei Kirilenko, Utah Jazz (2006): 14 pts., 8 rebs., 8 asts., 7 blks., 6 stls.
  • Marcus Camby, Denver Nuggets (2004): 8 pts., 11 rebs., 5 asts., 8 blks., 5 stls.
  • Andrei Kirilenko, Utah Jazz (2003): 10 pts., 12 rebs., 6 asts., 5 blks., 6 stls.
  • Andrei Kirilenko, Utah Jazz (2003): 19 pts., 5 rebs., 7 asts., 5 blks., 5 stls.
  • Jamaal Tinsley, Indiana Pacers (2001): 12 pts., 9 rebs., 15 asts., 5 blks., 6 stls.
  • Vlade Divac, Los Angeles Lakers (1995): 19 pts., 12 rebs., 8 asts., 5 blks., 5 stls.

How to achieve a Quadruple-Double in Basketball?

While posting a double-double average is attainable, triple-doubles are very difficult to achieve.

Now, imagine if you’re gunning for a quadruple-double. You must split your body in two if you want to get it done right away.

Suggested: Read about Efficiency Rating to get a better understanding of player productivity.

There are multiple keys to how to unlock a quadruple-double in basketball.

The most important factor is to not think about it during the game.

Let the game come to you naturally. If you try to force the stats during the game, you get double the pressure for less efficiency.

While you’re thinking about how to win the game, you’re also thinking of ways on how to score, dish it to your teammates, or grab the loose ball.

The other key is to know your teammates. Know when they split into the lane, or when they are open outside.

That way, you can make the assist easily. In terms of blocks and steals, make your team slide the defense to your side. Being on the strong side gives you more chances of intercepting or blocking a shot.

And finally, know when to ask for the ball. You don’t want to disappoint your teammates by hogging the ball in every game.

Try to determine the timing when you should be owning the ball, especially when the game is on the line.

As you can see, it goes back to the first key, which is to make sure the game comes naturally to you.

If you want to attain a quadruple-double in no time, don’t forget to constantly practice the fundamentals of basketball.

While it’s cooler to look exciting and dazzling on the hardcourt, never leave the basics behind.


References:

1. NBA: 5 players who have achieved the Quadruple Double: https://www.sportscasting.com/nba-a-complete-history-of-the-quadruple-double-2/

2. Wilt Chamberlain reportedly had a Quintuple Double: https://fadeawayworld.net/2020/04/01/wilt-chamberlain-reportedly-had-a-quintuple-double-with-53-points-32-rebounds-14-assists-24-blocks-and-11-steals/

3. Draymond Green records a one-of-a-kind triple-double: https://www.nba.com/news/warriors-draymond-green-records-historic-triple-double

4. NBA 5×5 Club: https://5x5club.com/

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