NBA players dominate the league owing to certain specific skill-sets like scoring, having a great court vision, or dominating the board. However, every now and then, some stars bless us with all-around prowess in all aspects of the game.
Getting double-digits in scoring, rebounding, and passing is the most common type of achieving a triple-double. However, some players dominate in steals and blocks, besides the conventional factors - which are much harder to get in double-digits.
TJ McConnell tallies 9 steals in the first half of Pacers vs Cavaliers; breaks NBA record, achieves unique steals triple-double
Playing against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Indiana Pacers' guard TJ McConnell achieved a steals triple-double on Wednesday night. He achieved 16 points, 13 assists, and 10 seals, along with 4 rebounds. It's also noteworthy that he got 9 of the 10 steals in the first half of the Indiana Pacers vs Cleveland Cavaliers game - an NBA record in itself.
TJ McConnell is the first NBA player to get 9 steals in just one half of the game, and the 6th to register the unique steals triple-double. But that's not it. The 191-pounder who's just a little over 6 feet, had a perfect scoring night (8/8 FG) and that too, off the bench. Someone increase the man's pay already!
Let's take a look at all the other five NBA players who have steal triple-doubles to their name in the NBA.
Draymond Green records one-of-a-kind triple-double with fewer than 10 points (2017)
In February 2017, Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green registered a one-of-its-kind triple double. Although Draymond joined a list of elites to tally a steals triple-double, he was the first NBA player to post a triple-double with fewer than 10 points.
Draymond Green scored only four points with just four FG attempts. However, his 12 rebounds, 10 assists and 10 steals forced the Memphis Grizzlies to give away 19 turnovers in a 127-107 GSW win.
In the same game, Draymond Green also became the only player in NBA history with 10 steals and 5 blocks in a single match.
Kendall Gill ties the NBA record for steals: 15 points, 10 rebounds, 11 steals
On April 3rd in 1999, Kendall Gill in a game against the Miami Heat, tied the NBA record for the most steals in a game (11) set by Larry Kenon during the 1976–77 season. In the game, Gill also posted 15 points and 10 rebounds, achieving a rare points-rebound-steals triple-double.
On finding out that he had tied the NBA record for most steals, Gill said, “I almost had two more, too. If I had known that, I would have tried a little harder to get a couple more.”
Kendall Gill also joined Clyde Drexler as the only NBA player to achieve the rare triple-double of points, rebounds and steals.
Mookie Blaylock, 1998: 14 points, 11 assists, 10 steals
After getting picked by the Nets in the 1989 NBA Draft, Moolie Blaylock was traded to the Atlanta Hawks. Spending seven years with the Hawks, he led the team in career three-point field goals (made and attempted) and career steals.
In a 1998 game against the Philadelphia 76ers, Blaylock posted a steals triple-double with 14 points, 11 assists and 10 steals. The result of his all-around dominance was a 75-74 win for the Hawks.
Clyde Drexler "robbed" of a quadruple-double in 1996
Almost all the basketball fans know who Hakeem Olajuwon is. But the one people don't know about is Olajuwon's Houston teammate, Clyde Drexler. Playing against the Sacramento Kings, Drexler almost pulled off a quadruple-double in 1996. However, he was apparently “robbed” of an assist.
The assist in question happens at the 2:26 mark in the video below. But even without the assist, the 34-year-old Clyde achieved a steal triple-double with 25 points, 10 rebounds, 10 steals and 9 assists.
Before retiring, Drexler achieved 13 steals in a 3-game series for Portland (vs Dallas Mavericks). His most steals in a half in a playoff game were 6, and 8, in two separate games.
Alvin Robertson's quadruple-double (1986)
The first player in NBA history to officially register a quadruple-double that included steals was San Antonio’s Alvin Robertson. The 6-foot-4 shooting guard posted the rare quadruple-double against Phoenix on February 18 in 1986. He registered 20 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists and 10 steals in the match.
Robertson averaged nearly 4 steals per game with the Spurs in the 1985-1986 and 1986-1987 seasons. Apart from that, Robertson ended up winning several accolades owing to his defensive style of play. He won 2x NBA All-Defensive First Team (1987, 1991), NBA Defensive Player of the Year (1986), and 3x NBA steals leader (1986, 1987, 1991).