The triple-double is essentially synonymous with a handful of NBA legends and future Hall of Famers.
Oscar Robertson, Russell Westbrook, LeBron James and Magic Johnson are just some players who readily come to mind when triple-doubles are mentioned. What makes James, 35, special is that he’s still earning triple-doubles during the back half of his career.
According to Justin Kubatko of Stat Muse, James is one of the oldest players to achieve a 30-point triple-double, joining Larry Bird and the late Kobe Bryant.
On top of that, James has recorded three triple-doubles this calendar year, with one each in January, February and March. He notched his 13th of the season in the Los Angeles Lakers’ win against the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday.
James scored a team-high 34 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and dished 13 assists. According to Basketball-Reference, the Lakers are now 11-2 when he records a triple-double.
As one of the most all-around players ever, James’ prime has been marked by longevity. This season, he is 11th in points per game and first in assists. The lowest he has ranked in points per game is 13th, which was during his rookie season.
The lowest he has ranked in assists per game was 15th during the 2006-07 season.
James is ranked first among active players in total points and second among active players in total assists (behind Chris Paul).
If James can continue to elevate his team, the Lakers will be a tough out in the playoffs. The Lakers will play the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday at Staples Center, with tipoff set for 10 p.m. ET.