Oklahoma City Thunder rookie Josh Giddey makes NBA history with record triple-double

The 19-year-old Australian became the youngest player in the history of the league to record a triple-double during the Thunder’s loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday (2 January).

By William Imbo

Josh Giddey has made NBA history by becoming the youngest player to record a triple-double (earning a double-digit total in three of five basketball statistical categories (assists, blocks, points, rebounds, and steals) over the course of a single game).

Giddey set the mark on Sunday (2 January) during the Thunder’s 86-95 loss to the Dallas Mavericks, finishing with 17 points, 14 assists and 13 rebounds. At just 19 years and 84 days old, Giddey broke the previous record held by the Charlotte Hornets’ LaMelo Ball, who earned his first triple-double at 19 years and 140 days old in January last year.

Giddey, like Ball, is an alumnus of Australia’s National Basketball League (NBL), where he starred for the Adelaide 36ers (Giddey was named as the NBL’s Rookie of the Year in 2021, and incidentally became the youngest Australian in NBL history to record a triple-double).

The youngster was part of Australia's men's basketball camp in the build-up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, and while he wasn't selected for the final 12-man roster, he did practise with the team and played in the Olympic exhibition games, finishing with 14 points, four rebounds and three assists in a 108-69 victory over Nigeria.

Addressing the record triple-double, Giddey told ESPN: "It's cool, as I said earlier in the year. The individual stats are good, you enjoy it for the night.

"But a win is always better than individual stats. If I have zero-zero-zero and we win, it's always better than if I have a triple-double and lose.''

The 2.03m (6’8) point guard, who was the sixth overall pick in the 2021 NBA draft, also led all players in points, rebounds and assists, becoming the youngest player in NBA history to do that.

"He's unselfish. As a 19-year-old, he understands how to play the game,'' Mavericks coach Jason Kidd told ESPN. "He's comfortable with the ball, his teammates all know that if he has it, they're gonna cut, because there's a chance that they can get it. He's comfortable shooting the 3. He has the total package.”

Giddey currently leads all rookies in assists per game this season (6.4) to go along with 11 points and 7.3 rebounds per game.

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