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Wilt Chamberlain believed triple-doubles are overrated: "Mediocracy is displayed with triple-doubles"

Wilt Chamberlain

Wilt Chamberlain on triple-doubles and why they are overrated

We've previously talked about the fundamental importance of triple-doubles in today's game and how an NBA legend Larry Bird thought they were pretty much overrated for various reasons. It also seems another NBA legend, the late great Wilt Chamberlain, had a similar opinion about triple-doubles saying they are pretty much deceiving the audience into thinking it's something extraordinary.

We see NBA players having triple-doubles almost on a nightly basis for the past several years, and it seems the game has come to that level where that is possible in a much larger scale than ever before. To a lot of people, triple-double is an immediate association of having a dominant performance, and rightfully so, but others realize some of the triple-doubles are pretty inflated at the end of the day and have no real impact.

In one of his older interviews, the late great Wilt Chamberlain, who still holds numerous NBA records and had a triple-double almost every other game, thought the league was fooling the viewers with the whole concept. He even went that far to describe it as mediocracy.

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"Mediocracy is displayed because they would give you things like triple-doubles. Ohh this guy had a triple-double, and they make the fan think he did something spectacular. Some of the triple-doubles of Jerry West, Oscar Robertson, Elgin Baylor had they would have thought they were having the worst day (game) in the world. So they would make you think that with the triple-double, it's something fantastic."

Wilt most certainly makes a good point in the sense that triple-doubles are nothing new in the game, and the way they were perceived back then was much different. Nowadays, players get more recognition when they finish a game with a triple-double even though in recent years we've seen great triple-doubles that didn't help the team win the ball game, which is essentially the whole purpose of sport. It's essential to validate an excellent individual effort but only to an extent where it brings tangible success for the entire team.

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