A quadruple double in basketball occurs when a player accumulates at least double digits in four statistical categories. It is rare and difficult to achieve. So rare that only four NBA all-time greats have accomplished it a total of five times. And it hasn’t happened since 1994.
The common theme seems to be that all four legends were NBA All-Defensive Team and played for playoff basketball teams. Their level of play raised their teammate’s at both ends of the floor.
A Quadruple Double no guarantee of HOF
And the amazing surprise is dominant players from their era like Shaq, Jordan, and Clyde Drexler aren’t on the list. While the prime of Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell predated modern NBA stat keeping.
So which current basketball player or future NBA player can you see getting the next quadruple double? While we’re sure that the current generation of Anthony Davis, Lebron James, Draymond Green, Kawhi Leonard, and Russell Westbrook (reigning king of the triple double) will undoubtedly challenge the elusive quadruple-double club, here are the four legends of the game who own at least one.
Nate Thurmond: Chicago Bulls vs. Atlanta Hawks on October 18, 1974
When his Chicago Bulls defeated the Atlanta Hawks 120-105 victory in overtime of the 1974-75 season opener, Nate Thurmond became the first player in the stats era to earn a quadruple double. Nate the Great dominated the court that night on his way to becoming an NBA Hall of Famer and one of the all-time top 50 NBA players.
Records are meant to be broken, but it is rare when a player creates a brand new category. Such public artistry is reminiscent of the Chicago Bean down the road. Thurmond’s monster night was an opportunity to showcase an all around style of play from the center position.
Thurmond quadruple double: 22 points, 14 rebounds, 13 assists, 12 blocks
Alvin Robertson: San Antonio Spurs vs. Phoenix Suns on February 18, 1986
Alvin Robertson was a superb defensive shooting guard who owns the career mark for most steals per game played, averaging 2.71 for his career. During the 1985–86 NBA season, he averaged a league-leading 3.7, a remarkable stat that earned him Defensive Player of the Year honors.
Robertson’s unique claims on the quadruple double are as the only guard in the elite company and the only one of the four to accomplish the feat with double-digit steals (the other three were with blocks).
Robertson quadruple double: 20 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists, and 10 steals
Hakeem Olajuwon: Houston Rockets vs. Golden State Warriors on March 3, 1990
Two-time NBA champion Hakeem Olajuwon is the only person in league history to own not one but two quadruple-doubles.
Whether he was under the basket, on the defensive end, or in the open court, Olajuwon was always in control of the ball. With his signature Dream Shake set of fakes and spin moves couple with some fancy footwork, he absolutely dominated the post during a single game performance in which his Houston Rockets demolished the Golden State Warriors 129-109
Olajuwon quadruple double #1: 29 points, 18 rebounds, 10 assists, and 11 blocks
Hakeem Olajuwon Game #2: Houston Rockets vs. Milwaukee Bucks on March 29, 1990
There’s an aura of absolute confidence that comes with being the best at what you do. And when you talk about double figures, Hakeem Olajuwon owns the space. He’ll go down in history as one of the league’s most prolific scorers and shot blockers — stats like 14 seasons averaging 20 points per game, 10 seasons averaging 10+ RPG, and 2 NBA titles (both earned in back-to-back years).
And 1990 was a career season for the Dream. While as dominant as his first quadruple-double was, his encore performance in the same season makes it all the more special. Olajuwon is the only player to accomplish the feat twice.
Olajuwon quadruple double #2: 18 points, 16 rebounds, 10 assists, and 11 blocks
David Robinson: San Antonio Spurs vs. Detroit Pistons on February 17, 1994
The brilliant David Robinson accomplished the last recorded quadruple-double in the NBA. The Hall of Fame center was the perfect marriage of height, wits, athletic ability, and skill on the court. Robinson would win all NBA defensive player of the year when he led the league in blocks per game.
Robinson was just 5 feet 9 inches tall as a junior in high school, but a sudden growth spurt during his senior year resulted in him growing to 6 feet 6 inches. And it didn’t stop there. By his sophomore year at the Naval Academy, the Admiral was a 7-footer with hands like a point guard. A renaissance man in the NBA.
Robinson quadruple double: 34 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists, and 10 blocks