The NBA announced Thursday that it had named Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Kevin Durant as three finalists for the league’s Most Valuable Player award. This marks the third straight season that the trio has been nominated.
In an interview with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols, Bryant discussed what he thinks makes him one of the best players in the world today. He also shared his thoughts about how he views the MVP Award.
LeBron James’ decision to join the Los Angeles Lakers in 2010 changed the landscape of the NBA forever. In fact, since he left Cleveland, no team has won a championship without having James on their roster.
Durant joined the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2011 and helped lead them to consecutive Western Conference Finals appearances. His numbers are among the most impressive ever recorded in the history of the sport.
Kobe Bryant has played 16 seasons in the NBA. During that span, he has led the Lakers to seven playoff berths and five trips to the conference finals. He has been selected to eight All-Star Games and won six championships.
What Is a Double-Double?
A double-double is a rare feat in sports, especially in the NBA. In fact, it hasn’t happened since Wilt Chamberlain did it in 1967. But what exactly does it mean? To answer that question we must go back to the beginning of basketball.
The game was invented in 1891 by James Naismith, a Canadian physical education instructor working at YMCA Training School in Springfield, Massachusetts. He wanted to make sure his students could play a team sport without the use of a ball. So he designed a game where players try to score goals by throwing a small hard rubber ball into a net.
In those days, scoring goals wasn’t easy. Players had to dribble the ball up court, pass it to teammates, and hope someone else got it in the basket. If you missed the goal, you’d just run around again. This game became known as “basket ball.”
Over the next few decades, the rules changed several times. By the 1940s, the game was played mostly with nine men per side, and teams used a round ball. Then came the three-point shot in 1954, followed by the introduction of free throws in 1955. Finally, in 1979, the NBA adopted the current format of 24 players per side and regulation size balls.
So how do you define a double-double? There are five different ways to achieve this feat: 10 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 blocks, and 2 steals. For example, LeBron James’ triple-double against the Boston Celtics in February 2017 included 11 points, 13 rebounds, 8 assists, 3 blocks, and 4 steals. However, this doesn’t count because James scored fewer than 10 points.
What Is a Triple-Double?
A triple-double in basketball is scored when a player achieves ten or more points, ten or more rebounds, ten or more assists, and ten or more blocks during one game. This feat is extremely rare, occurring less than once per season. Only eight players have ever recorded a triple-double in NBA history.
The most recent occurrence came in January, when James Harden of the Houston Rockets became the first player since Oscar Robertson in 1962 to record a triple-double in consecutive games. He did it against the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors.
What Is a Triple-Double in Basketball? Triple-Double Explained
The term “triple-double” refers to three points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists. This feat is accomplished in basketball by one player, usually a star athlete. A triple-double is often considered the pinnacle of success for a professional basketball player.
A lot of people don’t know what it takes to earn a triple-double. To understand how rare it is, you must understand the basics of scoring and rebounding. In basketball, there are two main components to scoring a basket: the field goal and the free throw. There are two types of shots: layups and dunks. Layups are shots taken within five feet of the rim; dunks are shots taken above the rim. Points are scored by either making a shot or drawing a foul.
Rebounds are different because they require both speed and strength. If you’re shooting a ball into the hoop, you’ll want to keep it close to the rim, so you can use your body to deflect the ball. But if someone else is trying to rebound the ball, you might have to jump up and try to grab it out of the air. So, you have to be strong enough to catch the ball while being quick enough to move quickly away from the play.
To put it simply, the best way to score a triple-double is to make a layup, get fouled, and then make a free throw. You can do this in the final minutes of a game, or even during a timeout. Most NBA teams have a rule that allows for a team to call a timeout in the final seconds of the fourth quarter. During those few seconds, you can take a breather and still score a triple-double.
How to Score a Triple-Double
A triple-double is one of the greatest feats in basketball history. Only seven people have ever accomplished this feat, including Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook, Kobe Bryant, and Wilt Chamberlain. However, scoring a triple-double isn’t easy; you must show off a variety of different abilities.
The most common triple-double includes points, rebounds, and assist. This is because players often lead teams in each category. For example, LeBron James leads the league in both points per game and rebounds per game. If he had just one of those numbers, he wouldn’t be able to claim a triple-double. In fact, James averages 23.5 points and 10.4 rebounds per game, making him the only player in NBA history to average over 20 points and 10 rebounds per game for a full season.
Although less common, there are some notable instances where steals or blocks can be included in a triple-double. There have been three instances of a triple-double without a rebound since 2000. Two of those instances include steals, and the third instance involved blocks. The first instance occurred during the 2003–2004 season, when Jason Kidd recorded 17 points, 11 rebounds, and 12 steals against the New Jersey Nets. The second instance occurred during the 2009–2010 season, when John Wall scored 26 points, 13 rebounds, and 11 assists against the Orlando Magic. Finally, the third instance occurred during the 2010–2011 season, when Chris Paul recorded 19 points, 14 rebounds, and 15 assists against the Houston Rockets.
To score a triple-double you need to demonstrate versatility in skills. You don’t necessarily need to be great at everything, but you do need to be versatile enough to perform well in multiple situations. So, if you’re a good scorer, you’ll probably want to focus on improving your shooting ability. But if you’re a poor shooter, you might benefit from focusing on becoming a better passer.
11 Players With Record Triple-Doubles
Triple-doubles are rare feats in basketball, but there have been some memorable ones throughout history. Here are 11 players who hold the record for most career triple-doubling in the National Basketball Association.
1. Andy Phillip – Philadelphia Warriors vs. Fort Wayne Pistons, January 28, 1950
2. Russell Westbrook – Washington Wizards vs. New York Knicks, December 29, 2016
3. Wilt Chamberlain – Los Angeles Lakers vs. Milwaukee Hawks, February 23, 1962
4. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – Golden State Warriors vs. San Antonio Spurs, April 13, 1985
5. Magic Johnson – Los Angeles Lakers vs Boston Celtics, November 8, 1984
6. Elgin Baylor – Los Angeles Lakers vs Chicago Bulls, October 22, 1968
7. Oscar Robertson – Cincinnati Royals vs Detroit Pistons, March 3, 1964
8. Bill Walton – Portland Trail Blazers vs Seattle SuperSonics, February 24, 1978
9. Julius Erving – Philadelphia 76ers vs New York Knicks, March 7, 1980
10. Larry Bird – Indiana Pacers vs Utah Jazz, March 4, 1986
11. Shaquille O’Neal – Miami Heat vs Charlotte Hornets, March 2, 2001
The Most Common Double-Double
A double-double is defined as scoring 10 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. It’s not uncommon for players to achieve this feat, especially with the rise of the small forward position. A few examples of double-doubles include:
1. Kevin Durant – Oklahoma City Thunder vs Memphis Grizzlies, November 27, 2015
2. LeBron James – Cleveland Cavaliers vs Toronto Raptors, May 9, 2013
3. Carmelo Anthony – Denver Nuggets vs Sacramento Kings, December 30, 2012
4. Kobe Bryant – Los Angeles Lakers vs Phoenix Suns, January 21, 2006
5. Allen Iverson – Philadelphia 76ers vs Atlanta Hawks, December 31, 2004
6. Tim Duncan – San Antonio Spurs vs Dallas Mavericks, January 16, 2005
7. Dwyane Wade – Miami Heat vs Minnesota Timberwolves, March 20, 2014
8. Ray Allen – Boston Celtics vs Brooklyn Nets, November 25, 2008
9. Amar’e Stoudemire – Phoenix Suns vs New Orleans Pelicans, February 1, 2011
10. Derrick Rose – Chicago Bulls vs Cleveland Cavaliers, December 18, 2014
11. Tony Parker – San Antonio Spurs vs Los Angeles Clippers, March 5, 2007
12. Pau Gasol – Los Angeles Lakers vs Denver Nuggets, November 6, 2012
13. Dirk Nowitzki – Dallas Mavericks vs New Orleans Hornets, January 12, 2006
14. Manu Ginobili – San Antonio Spurs vs New York Knicks, December 30, 2002
15. Vince Carter – Toronto Raptors vs Orlando Magic, November 26, 2003
16. Chris Bosh – Miami Heat vs New Jersey Nets, November 17, 2009
17. Andre Drummond – Detroit Pistons vs Brooklyn Nets, January 14, 2017
18. DeMarcus Cousins – Sacramento Kings vs Houston Rockets, January 19, 2018
19. Blake Griffin – Los Angeles Clippers vs Los Angeles Lakers, January 12, 2013
20. Dwight Howard – Los Angeles Lakers vs Los Angeles Clippers, December 15, 2010
21. Deron Williams – Utah Jazz vs New York Knicks, January 7, 2013
22. Kyrie Irving – Cleveland Cavaliers vs Boston Celtics, December 30, 2016
23. Paul George – Indiana Pacers vs Oklahoma City Thunder, January 20, 2019
24. Nikola Jokic – Denver Nuggets vs Los Angeles Clippers, January 11, 2020
25. Russell Westbrook – Oklahoma City Thunder vs Los Angeles Clippers, November 29, 2018
26. Damian Lillard – Portland Trail Blazers vs Los Angeles Lakers, December 28, 2014
27. Klay Thompson – Golden State Warriors vs Los Angeles Clippers, September 23, 2017
28. Stephen Curry – Golden State Warriors vs LA Clippers, June 13, 2019
29. Giannis Antetokounmpo – Milwaukee Bucks vs Washington Wizards, April 3, 2019
30. Jimmy Butler – Minnesota Timberwolves vs Los Angeles Clippers, October 22, 2019
31. Kawhi Leonard – San Antonio Spurs vs Toronto Raptors, May 24, 2019
32. John Wall – Washington Wizards vs Los Angeles Clippers, July 8, 2019
33. Isaiah Thomas – Boston Celtics vs Los Angeles Lakers, November 2, 2019
34. Ben Simmons – Philadelphia 76ers vs Los Angeles Clippers, February 4, 2020
35. Joel Embiid – Philadelphia 76ers vs Charlotte Hornets, November 15, 2019
36. Karl-Anthony Towns – Minnesota Timberwolves vs Los Angles Lakers, January 14, 2020
37. Kristaps Porzingis – New York Knicks vs Los Angeles Lakers, February 9, 2020
38. Anthony Davis – New Orleans Pelicans vs Los Angeles Lakers, March 27, 2020
39. LaMarcus Aldridge – San Antonio Spurs vs Memphis Grizzlies, January 10, 2015
40. James Harden – Houston Rockets vs Los Angeles Lakers, April 13, 2019
41. Kevin Durant – Golden State Warriors vs Oklahoma City Thunder, April 16, 2019
42. LeBron James – Cleveland Cavaliers vs Los Angeles Lakers, June 25, 2019
43. Carmelo Anthony – New York Knicks vs Atlanta Hawks, January 21, 2019
44. Dwyane Wade – Miami Heat vs Los Angeles Lakers, August 31, 2019
45. Kyle Lowry – Toronto Raptors vs Los Angeles Clippers, April 3, 2019