Joel Anthony

In the NBA, the triple-double is probably the most well-known and respected of the unofficial stats. Achieving a triple-double indicates that you’re a “complete player” who excels at multiple facets of the game. Among active players, Jason Kidd is the leader with 106 career triple-doubles, while Oscar Robertson is the all-time leader with 181.

As difficult as it is to achieve a triple-double in the NBA, I’m introducing a stat that is even more difficult to achieve: the triple-zero. This is achieved by playing at least 20 minutes in a game and finishing with exactly zero points, zero rebounds and zero assists.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “How hard can that be to achieve? All you have to do is do nothing!” Sure, but the challenge is actually staying on the court long enough to reach the 20-minute minimum when you’re contributing virtually nothing to your team’s cause. Most coaches will probably bench a player before he gets there. Here’s the proof that triple-zeros are hard to come by: There have only been 31 of them since the 1986-87 season, according to Basketball-Reference.com.

Here is the illustrious list of non-achievers, sorted by date.

The Triple-Zero Club

A few names and games stand out on this list:

  • The inspiration for this stat was the fact that Joel Anthony managed to get two triple-zeros in January. If you’re a Miami Heat fan, you’re nodding your head with sad recognition right now. With his second triple-zero, “The Warden” joins the elite “Multiple Triple-Zeros Club” that includes teammate Carlos Arroyo and Jason Collins as its members.
  • Walter McCarty is the only player on the list to actually wear the uniform number zero while achieving his triple-zero. Impressive.
  • It’s unsurprising that Bruce Bowen has a triple-zero since his contributions typically didn’t show up on a boxscore. Also, there’s no stat for kicks to the face.
  • Derek Fisher’s triple-zero on November 4, 2009 had the highest degree of difficulty of any of these — he’s the only player to manage a triple-zero in over 30 minutes of playing time. If you’re curious, the Lakers won that game over the Rockets, 103-102.

So there you have it. I like to think that this will go down as my contribution to basketball history, in much the same way that ESPN bowling broadcaster Rob Stone is known for inventing the term “hambone” to describe when a bowler gets four strikes in a row.

Who’s your pick for the next triple-zero? I predict that Joel Anthony will become the only player in NBA history (as far as we know) to get three triple-zeros in his career — and he might even do it this season. He continues to make me proud to be Canadian.

Comments (34)

  1. Arroyo in ’03 and ’10. He still got it.

  2. Love it. I will definitely be using this term over at Basketbawful — with credits to you, of course. Also, serious props for referencing bowling. (I’m one of the eight people that watch the PBA on a regular basis). You’re all right by me, Mr. Carefoot.

  3. Joel Anthony. 29. Not even shot at the basket, but 1 TO and 4 fouls. Holy crap. That’s beyond impressive.

  4. Dan: I know about the hambone from one of Stoner’s appearances on The BS Report. From what I understand, it’s quite controversial among “bowling purists”. Anything that annoys a purist of any sort is all good in my book.

  5. Also known, I believe, as the “Triple-Bagel”.

  6. In his triple-zero on Monday, Anthony was still +19. If anyone asks how bad the Cavs are – 19 points worse than nothing.

  7. Arroyo in ’03 is the worst.

    Some people have steals or blocks. He has none.

    He also missed all 5 shots, 2 free throws AND committed 4 turnovers in just 20 minutes.

  8. This is a great stat. Can’t believe it hasn’t been done before.

    Way to be progressive

  9. Wilt Chamberlain would have 100 of these if they kept track of this stat back in the day.

  10. There are some more terible than others….

    I mean: the quintuple-zero: Joel Anthony, Ryan Gomes, John Salmons, Jason Collins, Matt Freije (whoever that is), Bruce Bowen, Walter McCarthy, Carlos Arroyo, Glen Rice, Greg Foster, Steve Kerr, Warren Kidd (who?) and Earl Cureton (who?).

    Then you can factor in shot attempts, TOs and fouls… turnover is the worse, then missed shot, then foul (hey, maybe you prevented a point there)

    And the “winner” is: Arroyo in Utah for his 4 turnovers, 5 missed shots and 2 missed free throws. That’s a lot of points he cost to his team without no contributions. Like 20 without counting what the other team made of the extra possession. Freakin’ crazy the guy is still in the league!

    So there you have it: Carlos Arroyo played the worst 20 minutes of NBA basketball in the last 25 year.

  11. That picture is fantastic btw

  12. Breyzh: I like how you broke that down. I’m still more impressed by Fish’s Trip-Zip, though.

    (I’m TMing “Trip-Zip”, by the way.)

  13. How is it possible to play 20 minutes as a center, and not have a ball just freakin’ hit you in the head and count as a rebound? (I guess that Joel Anthony pic up there answers this question somewhat, though).

  14. @Amin
    if you ask Andrea Bargnani maybe he’ll teach you.

  15. i didnt read the article but i did skim it so i may sound stupid when i say this. didnt basketbawful dub something this under “millions” so he got 29 minutes, so he got 29million

  16. To be fair Walter McCarty had lat 5 Tommy Points that game

  17. Jamal Crawford, I say. Please follow up with a post when an 0-0-0 occurs again.

  18. This season? You really underestimate Joel, I say it will happen within the next 10 games. He plays hard as hell, but he’s a virtual “double-zero” every night in points and assists. So, really it’s a matter of having a game where the rebounds aren’t there.

  19. Scott — Most people have sorta gotten over it at this point since Stoner’s been doing the “hambone” thing for something like three years now. I personally like it, but I also really like his term for having the first 10 strikes in a game — Bo Derek (“perfect 10″). Hard to top that.

    Stephen — Not really. Trillion is the term we use a lot over at Basketbawful (but is actually a fairly commonly known thing, just look at Mark Titus’ Club Trillion blog). To get one, you have to have zeros the entire way across your box score line. No points, etc., but also no blocks, no steals, no fouls, no shot attempts, nothing. So if you play one minute and do nothing else, your box score line looks like 1000000000, or one trillion. 20 trillion would be absolutely friggin’ insane, and I look forward to one day seeing it happen. I don’t know if Joel Anthony can pull it off, but I’m not putting it past him.

  20. Guy From Europe: I’ll keep an eye out, but hopefully somebody will Tweet me (@scottcarefoot) when the next Trip-Zip happens to ensure I don’t miss it.

  21. Nevermind just 20 minutes as a center without a rebound – how did Manute Bol manage to play 23 without a board??

  22. Hmmm, let’s see what else…

    -4 Trip-Zips already this season, most since 2005-06 (5).
    -All 4 this season by members of the Heatles (maybe they should be “Triple-Ringos” this year instead??)
    -Jason Collins and NVE fouled out or they might have challenged D-Fish’s 34 minutes
    -MoPete FTW! Most missed FGs in a Trip-Zip.
    -Prior to Joel Anthony’s 2 (and counting), only one FG-free Trip-Zip.

  23. Triple zero’s are impressive, but more impressive is the stat line known as the “Trillion”. The Trillion is comprised of all zeros except minutes played (includes attempts, fouls, TO’s, everything). For example if a player plays 3 minutes and is held completely out of the box score they are looking at a 3 trillion. Basically we’re looking at someone who was non-existent on the court for period of time they played. This is tough to do. I’ve never seen higher than a 6 trillion.

  24. At Mark:

    I was basically going to write the exact same things… Sometimes there is a block or two, or a couple of steels, so he was exsisting for a fraction of the game…

  25. Dan B.: To follow up on what you’ve said, I recall when Basketbawful first posted about the trillion, he mentioned Damon Jones I think it was, scoring a full SEVEN trillion in the 2007 Finals. Unsurprisingly, he was playing for Cleveland.

  26. good stat cat.
    I also like the Eddy Curry line (more TOs than rebs+something else)
    and the 1000000000000000000000000 line, which is a special case of the triple zero and the 1 means 1 minute of play. (or maybe ten)

    [ah, I see the trillion has been mentioned. 3 times...]

  27. haha.. top article, hats off

  28. Turned this into a Sporcle quiz — nobody there has heard of Matt Freije either.

  29. I inspired a Sporcle quiz? Nice!

  30. This speaks of the Miami’s stand around while D Wade and Lebron do stuff gameplan pretty well that four of the triple zeros happened this season….

  31. SUPERFRESHMAN FELIPE LOPEZ! NYC PREP HOOPS RERAZENT! Sorry, I don’t know what came over me.

  32. Jason collins was the nj nets’ weakest link. he costed them 2 champions and achieved the triple zero once with 5 personal fouls. the other time he actually got fouled out. Do you know how much lack of skill this takes. it’s incredible!

  33. Will anybody top Anthony’s Jan. 9 performance? Not only did dude play 29 minutes (almost joining Derek Fisher in the 30 club), he logged 0 steals and 0 blocks, WHILST collecting 4 personal fouls and a turnover. Combine that with the fact that he’s a big and plants himself in the low-post all game and it’s the best of all time. I honestly think, as a PF/C in the NBA, you would have to actively run away from rebounds to avoid picking up a fluke defensive board.

    I’ve met Joel before, nice guy. It would be a shame for him not to get his credit.

  34. Derek Fisher got a triple zero in a post season game. Possibly the first post-season triple zero and it happened in the NBA Finals. In game 4 of the 2012 Finals, Fisher played 22 minutes, was 0-1 and record a steal and 2 fouls. Definitely not the line you want to see in a Finals game.

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