Triple-doubles have become an incredibly appealing achievement for NBA fans and players, and rightfully because it demands lots of energy from an athlete to achieve it. NBA legends Oscar Robertson and Magic Johnson are the two most recognizable names in league history regarding triple-doubles. 'The Big O' is the all-time leader in regular-season triple-doubles, while Magic leads the postseason table.
However, Russell Westbrook and LeBron James might soon dethrone Robertson and Johnson, at least from a statistical standpoint, with their rate and quality of triple-doubles, respectively. On this list, we will give you the five active players with the most triple-doubles in their regular-season careers.
5 active NBA players with most triple-doubles
Oscar Robertson was the first player to average a triple-double (average at least 10 in three different statistical categories) for a full season, back in the 1961-62 NBA season. That feat always stood as seemingly impossible to break until Russell Westbrook averaged a triple-double in three consecutive seasons from the 2016-17 campaign to the 2018-19 season.
We are now seeing some young players come in and achieve lots of triple-doubles in short periods, and even many passing big men have a high triple-double rate.
Without further ado, let's take a look at the five active NBA players with the most triple-doubles.
#5 Luka Doncic - 32
Last season, Luka Doncic became the youngest player in NBA history to lead the league in triple-doubles for a full season, dethroning Magic Johnson's record. Through his first two and a half seasons, Doncic has 32 triple-doubles, while Johnson had 31 in his first three seasons.
The Slovenian superstar is averaging a whopping 25 points in his career with 8.6 rebounds and 7.6 assists per game, and all those numbers seem to be growing year by year.
The 21-year-old led the NBA last season with 17 triple-doubles in 61 games and is leading the table again in the 2020-21 NBA campaign with seven triple-doubles in 27 appearances.
Rajon Rondo, the two-time NBA champion who plays for the Atlanta Hawks, also has 32 career triple-doubles, but Doncic has a better rate. Still, Rondo has been a triple-double machine in the past and still ranks inside the Top 12 in league history.
#4 Nikola Jokic - 47
Nikola Jokic is one of the greatest passing big men in the history of the league and he is certainly a great distributor and playmaker. The 6' 11'' Serbian is following Doncic closely in the triple-double table of the 2020-21 NBA season with six in 28 games, while he ranks ninth in NBA history with 47 career triple-doubles.
The center is currently averaging 27 points, 11 rebounds and 8.6 assists in the 2020-21 campaign. He ranks fourth in the league in total assists and fifth in assists per game. His rebounding and the passing ability he owns will help him reach easy triple-doubles throughout the rest of his career.
#3 James Harden - 51
James Harden was known as a shooting guard in his first years in the NBA and he is regarded as a shooting guard in most lists of the greatest players ever at that position. However, Harden has become a tremendous facilitator and he has achieved a huge number of triple-doubles in the last five seasons.
Harden has 51 triple-doubles in his career and already has five in the 2020-21 campaign. His strength allows him to find rebounds consistently (even at 6' 5'') and he is leading the league in assists per game by a big margin (he is at 11.3 per game and the next closest is at 9.5).
'The Beard' ranks eighth in NBA history in the triple-double department and is eight behind Larry Bird's 59. Remarkably, Harden is a tremendous passer with a high number of assists while not sacrificing his scoring. In fact, Harden is the only player in NBA history with a 60-point triple-double.
#2 LeBron James - 97
There is a notion that LeBron James could average a triple-double for a full season if he wanted to, and it might be absolutely true. Of course, we do not judge based on potential, but we do it with facts. Whatever the case, James is in the Top 5 in NBA history in terms of triple-doubles and he might end up in the Top 3 by the end of his career.
James has 97 career triple-doubles in the NBA regular season and already has three in the current campaign. He is also second in the postseason rankings behind Magic Johnson with 28 triple-doubles to Magic's 30. James could soon pass Johnson in the postseason, where it matters the most.
LeBron ranks fifth in NBA regular-season history with his 97 triple-doubles and is 10 behind Jason Kidd, who has 107.
#1 Russell Westbrook - 153
Not only did Russell Westbrook match Oscar Robertson's feat of averaging a triple-double for a full year, but he also did so for three consecutive campaigns. Westbrook ranks second in NBA history with 153 triple-doubles in his career and is inching closer to Robertson's 181.
Despite the Washington Wizards having a dismal year, Westbrook has seven triple-doubles and is tied with Luka Doncic for the NBA's highest in the 2020-21 campaign.
Westbrook also owns the single-season record for most triple-doubles, with 42 back in the 2016-17 season.