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Does Basketball Have a Triple Crown?

In baseball the “Triple Crown” is represented by leading the league in Batting Avg, Home Runs, and Runs Batted In. Perhaps the “Triple Double” is the closest thing to showing overall dominance by getting double figures in 3 categories such as Points, Rebounds, and Assists.

1961 Fleer Oscar Robertson RC
1961 Fleer Oscar Robertson RC

 In 1961-62, Oscar Robertson became the only player to average a triple double in a single season. In spite of averaging 30.8 points, 12.5 rebounds and 11.4 assists that season, The Big O only lead the league in assists.

But in looking over the history of basketball no player has ever lead the league in those 3 categories in the same season. Only Wilt Chamberlain has lead the league in Scoring and Rebounding in the same season – a remarkable 5 times. Other players that have lead the league in those 2 categories, but in different seasons have been: Elvin Hayes, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and David Robinson.

Robinson RC
1989 Hoops David Robinson RC

 

1971 Topps Nate Archibald RC
1971 Topps Nate Archibald RC

A more unlikely two-thirds of the triple crown is leading the league in scoring and assists. What makes it unlikely is that a player would have to have the ability to score for one’s self and also help to set up others to score. Mr. Clutch, Jerry West, was the first player to lead the league in scoring one year and then lead the league in assists in another season. But Nate “Tiny” Archinald is the only player to pull off that rare feat in the same season of 1972-73.

 

1961 Fleer Wilt Chamberlain RC
1961 Fleer Wilt Chamberlain RC

In 1967-68 The Big Dipper, Wilt Chamberlain, posted a league leading combination in rebounding and assists, making him the only player to ever to accomplish a career “Triple Crown” in basketball.

Who will be the next to join Wilt in this career feat? Lebron & Durant are both dominant in the game, but not league leaders in rebounding or assists. Kevin Love has a legitimate shot at Scoring & Rebounding, but he has never averaged close to double figures in assists.

Do you think we will ever see another career Triple Crown league leader?

 

Kevin St Jacque

Contributing Author Kevin St. Jacque has been collecting cards, comics and watching baseball and basketball since the late-1970′s. He has over 1,100 Marvel sketch cards and just as many autographed and memorabilia sports insert cards. Raised in the LBC, he’s an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan. Recently he spends time with his young daughter hunting stores for Monster High dolls for her collection. You can find him contributing various hobby happenings on www.forloveofhomeplate.com

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