Ricky Rubio comes closer than anyone in nearly a decade to quadruple-double

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Ricky Rubio didn’t even score 10 points, but the Timberwolves point guard came closer than anyone in nearly a decade to a quadruple-double.

Rubio notched 9 points, 12 assists, 10 rebounds and 8 steals in Minnesota’s loss to the Knicks tonight.

That left him one point and two steals from joining the NBA’s exclusive quadruple-double club:

  • David Robinson: 34 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists and 10 blocks in 1994
  • Hakeem Olajuwon: 18 points, 16 rebounds, 10 assists and 11 blocks in 1990
  • Alvin Robertson: 20 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists and 10 steals in 1986
  • Nate Thurmond: 22 points, 14 rebounds, 13 assists and 12 blocks in 1974

The league didn’t begin tracking individual blocks and steals until 1973-74, so some would’ve-been quadruple-doubles might have been lost to history. But with fairly accurate record-keeping now, it’s been quite a while since someone came as close as Rubio.

Here’s every time a player had at least eight in four of the five major categories in the last 30 years:

Player Team Opp. Date PTS REB AST STL BLK
Ricky Rubio MIN NYK 12/16/2015 9 10 12 8 0
Andrei Kirilenko UTA MIN 3/8/2006 15 11 8 2 8
Ron Artest IND MIA 3/31/2002 24 9 9 8 2
Chris Webber SAC VAN 2/7/1999 25 15 8 3 9
Mookie Blaylock ATL PHI 4/14/1998 14 8 11 10 0
Clyde Drexler HOU SAC 11/1/1996 25 10 9 10 0
David Robinson SAS DET 2/17/1994 34 10 10 2 10
David Robinson SAS MIN 1/11/1994 27 12 10 0 8
Clyde Drexler POR IND 12/11/1992 17 8 9 8 0
Alvin Robertson MIL MIA 11/6/1990 27 12 8 8 1
Hakeem Olajuwon HOU MIL 3/29/1990 18 16 10 1 11
Hakeem Olajuwon HOU GSW 3/3/1990 29 18 9 5 11
Michael Jordan CHI BOS 1/15/1989 42 9 11 8 0
Alvin Robertson SAS DET 3/25/1988 15 10 12 8 1
Fat Lever DEN NJN 11/24/1987 21 13 14 8 0
Alvin Robertson SAS PHO 2/18/1986 20 11 10 10 0
Clyde Drexler POR MIL 1/10/1986 26 9 11 10 1

Rubio, of course, is the only player on the list without 10 points. It’s hard to play so well overall without scoring double digits.

This is just the second time someone had a double-double without 10 points this season. The other: Rubio with 8 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists against the Magic on Nov. 18. But Rubio has a long way to go to become synonymous with that achievement. Jason Kidd had 27 doubles-doubles without points, and Rajon Rondo is the active leader with seven.

There’s also the question of whether Rubio was actually “close” to a quadruple-double. Scoring a single point is very manageable, but two more steals is a tall order.

Rubio gets two steals every 30 minutes this season. Even his rate tonight – hardly a reliable sample – was two steals every nine minutes. Generously average the rates, and Rubio would’ve needed an extra half or so.

Is needing another half to notch a counting accomplishment “close”?

Either way, Rubio came closer than we’ve seen in quite some time.