Quadruple Double -- Is this Rondo's Next Stepping Stone to Immortality?

The reason why [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. 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.

Nate Thurmond

 A quadruple-double is defined as a performance in which a player accumulates a double digit number total in four of five statistical categories—points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocked shots—in a game. This feat is extremely rare:only four players have officially recorded a quadruple-double in National Basketball Association (NBA) history. The first American male player above the high school level to officially record a quadruple-double was Nate Thurmond, who achieved this feat in 1974 while playing for the NBA's Chicago Bulls. The first American female player above the high school level to officially record a quadruple-double was Ann Meyers, who achieved this feat in 1978 while playing for the UCLA Bruins. The first male player in NCAA Division I history to record a quadruple-double was Lester Hudson.

Quadruple-doubles have only been possible since the 1973–74 season, when the NBA started recording both blocked shots and steals. It is often speculated by observers that other all-time greats, namely Oscar Robertson (all time triple-doubles leader with 181, Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell or Jerry West could conceivably have had quadruple-doubles. According to West's biography at NBA.com, he reportedly recorded a quadruple-double after having 44 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists and 10 blocks. Wilt Chamberlain also reportedly recorded a quadruple-double in Game 1 of the 1967 Eastern Division Finals against the Boston Celtics, when he had 24 points, 32 rebounds, 13 assists and 12 blocks.

Graphics after the jump.


Name Date Team Score Opponent Minutes
Points Rebounds Assists Steals Blocks Overtime Reference
Nate Thurmond* October 18, 1974 Chicago Bulls 120–115 Atlanta Hawks 45 22 14 13 0 or 1 12 Yes (OT) [64]
Alvin Robertson February 18, 1986 San Antonio Spurs 120–114 Phoenix Suns 36 20 11 10 10 0 No [65]
Hakeem Olajuwon* March 29, 1990 Houston Rockets 120–94 Milwaukee Bucks 40 18 16 10 1 11 No [66]
David Robinson* February 17, 1994 San Antonio Spurs 115–96 Detroit Pistons 43 34 10 10 2 10 No [67]
Several others missed that mark by finishing with triple-doubles and a total of 9 in a fourth statistical category (statistical categories in which they fell short are in bold):
Name Date Team Opponent Minutes
Points Rebounds Assists Steals Blocks Overtime Reference
Rick Barry* October 29, 1974 Golden State Warriors Buffalo Braves 43 30 10 11 9 No [68][69]
Larry Steele November 16, 1974 Portland Trail Blazers Los Angeles Lakers 44 12 11 9 10 No [70][71]
Johnny Moore January 8, 1985 San Antonio Spurs Golden State Warriors 36 26 11 13 9 No [72]
Larry Bird*[a] February 18, 1985 Boston Celtics Utah Jazz 33 30 12 10 9 No [73][74]
Micheal Ray Richardson October 30, 1985 New Jersey Nets Indiana Pacers 54 38 11 11 9 Yes (3 OT) [75]
Clyde Drexler* January 10, 1986 Portland Trail Blazers Milwaukee Bucks 42 26 9 11 10 No [71]
Hakeem Olajuwon* March 3, 1990 Houston Rockets Golden State Warriors 40 29 18 9[b] 11 No [76]
Clyde Drexler* November 1, 1996 Houston Rockets Sacramento Kings 42 25 10 9 10 No [77]
a Bird sat out the entire fourth quarter. After playing the third quarter, head coach K. C. Jones informed Bird that he was one steal away from a quadruple-double and asked if he wanted to stay in the game. Bird declined, saying that he had "already did enough damage.

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