Basketball Milestones, Basketball Triple Doubles

There’s been FOUR quadruple-doubles (not 5) in NBA history


Since it’s humanly possible to record a quintuple-double, I won’t say that the quadruple-double is the most difficult to pull off in the multi-faceted statistic category. Here are the four NBA players that have achieved quadruple doubles

There have been just four quadruple-doubles since the NBA started officially recording steals and blocked shots during the 1973-74 season. Yes, just four quadruple doubles. Not five as many sites erroneously report.

Quadruple Doubles in NBA History
Date Team Player Points Rebs Asts Blk/Stl Opp.
10/18/74 Chicago Bulls Nate Thurmond 22 14 13 12 blks Atlanta Hawks
02/18/86 San Antonio Spurs Alvin Robertson 20 11 10 10 stls Phoenix Suns
03/29/90 Houston Rockets Hakeem Olajuwon 18 16 10 11 blks Milwaukee Bucks
02/17/94 San Antonio Spurs David Robinson 34 10 10 10 blks Detroit Pistons

With a quadruple-double event recorded just a handful of times, we don’t have to just speak generally about the topic, we can actually talk in detail to each player (and game) in which the quadruple-double happened.

Hakeem Olajuwon recorded a quadruple-double twice in the same month of the same NBA season 1990-91, but one the accomplishments was rescinded by the NBA after the game. Many websites and even NBATV (see image below) continue reporting that there’s been five. There hasn’t.


Nate Thurmond 1974

The first recorded NBA quadruple double came at the hands of Nate Thurmond in the season after the NBA started recording blocks and steals. Thurmond’s handprints were all over that game; scoring 22 points, grabbing 14 rebounds, passing for 13 assists and blocking 12 shots. Playing for the Chicago Bulls.

Alvin Robinson 1986

With Thurmond putting up a QD in the season after the NBA began officially keeping steals and blocks, fans may have expected a quadruple double to occur more often. It didn’t. It took a dozen years before the next quadruple-double by Alvin Robertson. Playing for the Spurs, Robertson’s boxscore looked like this: 20 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists, and 10 steals. He is the only player in this very short list to record a quad-double with steals.

In fact, there have only been 14 NBA players that have ever registered double-digit steals (compared to the 100+ times in which a player blocked ten or more shots in a game) which makes Robertson’s all-around accomplishment even more significant.

Hakeem Olajuwon 1990

Olajuwon may have only one OFFICIAL quadruple double, but the multi-faceted big man has flirted with the 10-10-10-10 statline on multiple occasions.

The Hakeem Fantasy Basketball Wet Dream
Player Team Date PTS REB AST STL BLK
Hakeem Olajuwon HOU 12/10/1987 19 14 6 4 7
Hakeem Olajuwon HOU 3/10/1987 38 17 6 7 12
Hakeem Olajuwon HOU 3/3/1990 29 18 9 5 11
Hakeem Olajuwon HOU 3/29/1990 18 16 10 1 11
Hakeem Olajuwon HOU 2/26/1992 33 12 9 5 4
Hakeem Olajuwon HOU 4/11/1992 19 13 6 5 5
Hakeem Olajuwon HOU 1/25/1994 13 10 9 6 4
Hakeem Olajuwon HOU 4/14/1998 13 18 8 4 6

David Robinson 1994

The most recent quadruple double happened decades ago when David Robinson recorded 34 points and the requisite amount of rebounds, assists and blocks. In that game against the Detroit Pistons, Mr. Robinson dominated and theSpurs won 115-96.

In forty-three minutes DRob recorded exactly ten rebounds, ten assists and ten blocks along with 34 points to become the fourth player in NBA history to quadruple-double (and the fifth time ever). Read more about Robinson’s accomplishment.

After David Robinson recorded his feat, Thurmond explained why the quadruple-double will remain an extremely-rare event. “The reason why [a quadruple-double] is such a hard thing to accomplish is because it requires a player to be completely dominant on both ends of the court without being too selfish—so he can get the assists—and without fouling out trying to block every shot or grab every rebound,” Thurmond said. ” A lot of guys can get the points, rebounds and assists, but it’s the defensive stuff that messes everybody up. You have to love defense to get a quadruple-double. There’s no way around it.”

Agsin, statistics on blocked shots and steals have been kept only since 1973, so you know that Wilt Chamberlain would have had a couple dozen quadruple doubles (they discovered three in archived newspaper boxscores). And Oscar Robertson probably would have pulled it off at least a couple times. That said, there are other quad-dubs that went unrecorded.

Quadruple-Doubles with Turnovers

Like the Fifth Beatle, there is a fifth player that achieved a quadruple-double, albeit a dubious one. In November 2000, Jason Kidd pulled off an infamous quadruple-double with 18 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists and 14 turnovers. And if we’re counting quadruple double with turnovers, James Harden had 30 points, 10 rebounds and 14 assists and 10 of Houston’s 21 turnovers giving him an infamous quadruple double in a loss vs. the Charlotte Hornets on March 7, 2020.

Almost Quadruple Doubles in NBA History
When we say almost — we’re going to keep it strict — meaning the player was one point, rebound, assist, steal or block away from the quadruple double.

In 1985, Larry Bird came up one steal short of notching the league’s second quad-double (at the time) in 33 minutes against the Utah Jazz. From the Los Angeles Times:

Larry Bird had 30 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists and 9 steals for the Celtics to come within one steal of recording a quadruple-double as Boston beat the Utah Jazz, 110-94, at Salt Lake City. But, when informed of his opportunity, Bird chose not to go back into the game after being taken out in the third quarter.

As we mentioned above, Olajuwon did pull off the feat twice in the same month, of the same season, but had his statline of 29 points, 18 rebounds, 10 assists, and 11 blocks against the Golden State Warriors on 03/03/90 was adjusted by one assist in the wrong direction. So Hakeem came up short of his second career quadruple double.

Speaking of coming up short, Clyde Drexler came up short twice:

Drexler…. arguably pulled off the milestone in 1996 but was “robbed” of an assist. The assist in question comes at the 2.26 mark of the above video. Without the assist, the 34 year old Clyde was left with the petty line of just 25 points, 10 rebounds, 10 steals and 9 assists. What many people also don’t know is that a decade earlier, a high(er) flying Drexler was just 1 rebound away from a quadruple double in a game against the Bucks.  His final stat line on that night was 26 points, 11 assists, 10 steals and 9 rebounds!

The Spur’s Robertson and Robinson almost had multiple quad-dubs added to their career resumes, but also came up short a couple times too.

UPDATE: Draymond Green was also really close to a quadruple double when he achieved the more difficult parts of a quadruple double with 12 rebounds, 10 assists and 10 steals vs. the Memphis Grizzlies, but he ended up scoring just 4 points. And this is from a guy that averages 10.7 points. In that game, Green was actually closer to a quadruple double with his five blocks than he was with points. In any case, his triple double without points became the first time ever in NBA history.

Here’s a list of NBA players that almost recorded quadruple doubles but came up short by 1 assist or 1 steal — sorted by how close those players got to it (OFF BY).

Larry Bird BOS 2/19/1985 30 12 10 9 2 1
Michael Ray Richardson NJN 10/30/1985 38 11 11 9 0 1
Clyde Drexler POR 1/10/1986 26 9 11 10 1 1
Hakeem Olajuwon HOU 3/3/1990 29 18 9 5 11 1
Clyde Drexler HOU 11/1/1996 25 10 9 10 0 1
Fat Lever DEN 11/24/1987 21 13 14 8 0 2
Alvin Robertson SAS 3/25/1988 15 10 12 8 1 2
David Robinson SAS 1/11/1994 27 12 10 0 8 2
Mookie Blaylock ATL 4/14/1998 14 8 11 10 0 2
Michael Jordan CHI 1/15/1989 42 9 11 8 0 3
Chris Webber SAC 2/7/1999 25 15 8 3 9 3
Ricky Rubio MIN 12/16/2015 9 10 12 8 0 3
Alvin Robertson MIL 11/6/1990 27 12 8 8 1 4
Ron Artest IND 3/31/2002 24 9 9 8 2 4
Andrei Kirilenko UTA 3/8/2006 15 11 8 2 8 4
Clyde Drexler POR 12/11/1992 17 8 9 8 0 5
Draymond Green GSW 02/10/2017 4 12 10 10 5 5

The above is just for the NBA regular season. It’s interesting how players like Magic Johnson and Jason Kidd; triple double machines throughout their careers and also perennial league leaders in steals, never even sniffed this list.

Quadruple Doubles in College

In the NCAA, Lester Hudson was the first college basketball player to record a quadruple double in a Division I men’s game. Playing for University of Tennessee-Martin Hudson registered 25 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists and 10 steals in a game against Central Baptist College in 2007.

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