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WNBA triple-doubles: Alyssa Thomas is ‘making it look easy’

(Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)

Alyssa Thomas is leading the triple-double revolution.

Triple-doubles were a rare occurrence through most of WNBA history. Then came the year of the triple-double, with nine recorded during the 2022 season. And the pace has not slowed in 2023, with 11 as of Oct. 1.

Give credit to Thomas for the explosion. The Connecticut Sun forward recorded the first of her career on July 22, 2022, but finished that season with four — breaking the WNBA career record. And on Oct. 1, she recorded her seventh of 2023.

Thomas is the only WNBA player with more than two triple-doubles in a single season.

“Even myself as a coach, you have to intentionally tell yourself to not take these moments for granted,” Sun head coach Stephanie White said. “Like it just seems so routine that Alyssa Thomas gets a triple-double or close to a triple-double or a double-double. … It’s not routine, it’s exceptional.”

Five other players have recorded multiple triple-doubles: Candace Parker (3), Sabrina Ionescu (3), Sheryl Swoopes (2), Courtney Vandersloot (2) and Chelsea Gray (2).

“I think the game is changing,” Parker said following her third career triple-double in June 2022. “I think we’re gonna very soon see this on a nightly basis. We’re going to see those playmakers who have the ball in their hands.”

How many triple-doubles have been recorded in WNBA history?

In total, 31 triple-doubles have been recorded across the league’s 27 seasons, with 26 during the regular season and five during the playoffs. The 31 triple-doubles have come from 14 total players.

Swoopes recorded the first playoff triple-double in 2005, while Vandersloot did so in 2021. Thomas joined the club with two in the 2022 WNBA Finals, and then added another in the 2023 semifinals.

Sheryl Swoopes (2)

Swoopes recorded the league’s first-ever triple-double on July 27, 1999, while playing for the Houston Comets. She recorded 14 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists. She would later get her second triple-double on September 3, 2005, with 14 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.

Margo Dydek

While with the Utah Starzz, Dydek had 12 points, 11 rebounds and 10 blocks on June 7, 2001. Dydek remains the only WNBA player to have recorded a triple-double through blocks and not assists.

Lisa Leslie

Leslie set a new bar on September 9, 2004, recording 29 points, 15 rebounds and 10 blocks for the Los Angeles Sparks. That stood as the record for most points in a triple-double until Ionescu broke it in 2022.

Deanna Nolan

On May 21, 2005, Nolan recorded the first of two triple-doubles that year. That 2005 season became the first with multiple triple-doubles. She had 11 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists for the Detroit Shock.

Temeka Johnson

As a member of the Seattle Storm, Johnson recorded 13 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists on July 24, 2014.

Candace Parker (3)

It took nine seasons for Parker to record her first triple-double. On July 28, 2017, she had 11 points, 17 rebounds and 15 assists for the Los Angeles Sparks.

Her other two came with the Chicago Sky in 2022, with Parker recording the first triple-double of the year on May 22, with 16 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists. While she became the oldest player to record a triple-double in WNBA history in that game, she later became the first player to record three triple-doubles in league history with another on June 23 (10 points, 10 rebounds, 14 assists).

Courtney Vandersloot (2)

Vandersloot recorded the first of her two triple-doubles on July 20, 2018, with 13 points, 10 rebounds and 15 assists. She registered her second triple-double during the 2021 postseason, notching 14 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.

Chelsea Gray (2)

As a member of the Los Angeles Sparks, Gray recorded a triple-double on July 7, 2019. She had 13 points, 10 rebounds and 13 assists.

In 2023, she notched the second of her career with the Aces in a rivalry win over the Liberty. She finished with 22 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists.

Sabrina Ionescu (3)

Ionescu’s first triple-double came on May 18, 2021, when she recorded 26 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists — the highest point total since Leslie’s triple-double in 2004.

She bested that number with a 27-point, 13-rebound and 12-assist performance on June 12, 2022. Then, against the Aces on July 7, Ionescu set the record for points in a triple-double with 31 — the first 30-plus-point triple-double. She added 13 rebounds and 10 assists in that game.

Moriah Jefferson

Jefferson added her name to the list on June 28, 2022, with 13 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for the first triple-double in Minnesota Lynx history.

Courtney Williams

On June 30, 2023, Williams contributed 12 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists for the Chicago Sky in a win over the Los Angeles Sparks.

Satou Sabally

The Dallas Wings’ Satou Sabally recorded her first triple-double on July 28, 2023, putting up 14 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in the Dallas Wings’ win over the Washington Mystics.

She is the second player in Wings history to achieve a triple-double, joining Deanna Nolan. Nolan had one in 2005 when the franchise was in Detroit.

Sug Sutton

The final pick of the 2020 WNBA Draft at No. 36 overall, Sutton has bounced around the league over the last four seasons, but she inked her name in the history books with her first triple-double on Sept. 8, 2023. The 24-year-old guard had 18 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists for the Phoenix Mercury in a 94-73 loss to the Las Vegas Aces.

Alyssa Thomas (11)

Thomas recorded the first triple-double of her career and the first in Connecticut Sun history on July 22, 2022. The star forward tallied 15 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds.

Less than two weeks later, on Aug. 2, 2022, Thomas posted 10 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists to become just the third player in WNBA history to record multiple triple-doubles in a single season — joining Parker and Ionescu, who also did so in 2022.

She added yet another — and the first in WNBA Finals history — on Sept. 15, with 16 points, 15 rebounds and 11 assists in a Game 3 win against the Las Vegas Aces. Then she followed it up with still another in the team’s series-clinching loss to Las Vegas, notching 11 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds to become the first WNBA player to post back-to-back triple-doubles.

On June 20, 2023, Thomas posted her fifth career triple-double, with 13 points, 15 rebounds and 12 assists. Her sixth came just five days later on June 25, in a 14-point, 11-rebound and 12-assist performance. Then, just two days after that, Thomas recorded her third triple-double in eight days, with 11 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.

Her eighth came on July 30, 2023, with Thomas putting up 17 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists. And her ninth came on Aug. 1, with 21 points, 20 rebounds and 12 assists.

Thomas kept it rolling, with her 10th coming on Sept. 5, 2023. She recorded 27 points, 14 assists and 12 rebounds, as well as 6 steals. She’s the first player in WNBA history with 25 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists and 5 steals in a game.

“I’m doing something that’s never been done in the league before,” Thomas said following that performance. “And I’m making it look easy. And by no means are triple-doubles easy. Credit goes to my teammates.”

In the 2023 playoffs, she posted the 11th triple-double of her career in the WNBA semifinals, with 17 points, 15 rebounds and 11 assists.

Midge Purce-Backed Docuseries ‘The Offseason’ to Drop This Summer

cast of the offseason nwsl reality series
'The Offseason' follows a group of NWSL stars as they prepare for preseason play. (The Offseason)

The Offseason, a reality series created by Gotham and USWNT star Midge Purce, has officially confirmed its streaming debut, Purce announced in Cannes on Tuesday.

The six-episode, half-hour docuseries will stream this summer on X, though a specific premiere date hasn't yet been set.

The Offseason was filmed in Miami, two weeks before the NWSL preseason. It's a crucial time for athletes, a period where they prepare to join their respective teams and compete for both starting and roster spots. Production designed all the facilities, bringing in top-tier trainers, masseuses, chefs, and gym equipment to create a high-level training environment, ensuring the players were in peak condition, per the show's release. Throughout filming, athletes lived together in one house — a reality TV conceit rife for entertainment.

The series follows a number of NWSL stars, including Purce (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Maria Sanchez (Houston Dash), Lo’eau LaBonta (Kansas City Current), Michelle Alozie (Houston Dash), Taylor Smith (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Nikki Stanton (OL Reign), Ally Watt (Orlando Pride), Taryn Torres (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Paige Nielsen (Angel City FC), and Ify Onumonu (Utah Royals).

"We wanted to create a series that truly captures the essence of what it means to be a professional athlete," said Purce. "This series has always been about more than just sports — it's about the human experience behind the athlete, as well."

The show promises a behind-the-scenes look at professional women's sports, teasing major life decisions, on-field tensions, and players taking stock of the environments they'll be entering once their preseason trip is over. The series delves into the real-life challenges faced by the athletes, including club trades, contract negotiations, burnout, and the relentless pressure from outsiders commenting on the players' personal lives.

The Offseason's official trailer, released on Tuesday, shows snippets of Hubly contemplating retirement, Sanchez joining the group after signing a high-profile contract, and a healthy amount of banter about on-field achievements.

The spirit of the series is reflected in its producers: Box To Box Films is known for their sports content (Drive to Survive, Break Point, Full Swing), whereas 32 Flavors is the creative force behind Vanderpump Rules and The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. The series was funded by Seven Seven Six, and executive produced by Purce.

Lilia Vu adds Meijer LPGA Classic to tour wins record

Lilia Vu won in her first tournament in two months. (Photo by Jorge Lemus/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Lilia Vu won her fifth LPGA Tour event on Sunday, taking home the Meijer LPGA Classic title in her first tournament since March. 

The world No. 2 had been sidelined with a back injury, but returned with a vengeance. She began the day eight shots back of leader Grace Kim, and survived a three-hole playoff against Kim and former champion Lexi Thompson to take the title. 

“I think this is the most meaningful win,” said Vu, “because there was a time two months ago where I was just crying on the range not being sure if I would ever play a tournament again without pain.”

A two-time major champion, Vu hadn’t before won the Meijer LPGA Classic, but a birdie on the third playoff hole helped secure it. She’s now 2-for-3 in LPGA Tour playoffs. 

She said on Sunday that being unable to defend her title at the Chevron Championship was the “breaking point” in her season.

“Not being able to compete there really killed me,” she said. “I feel like I thought I was taking the steps in the right direction, but I’m glad that I was able to take a couple months off and reevaluate my body, let it recover, do what I needed to do to get back out here again.

“And we did the right thing and took two months off. I think it hurt me not to play competitive golf because I literally live for competitive golf, but we did the right thing and that’s why I’m here today.”

Top tennis players pull out of Olympics citing health reasons

Aryna Sabalenka will not play in the Olympics. (Photo by ALAIN JOCARD/AFP via Getty Images)

Ons Jabeur and Aryna Sabalenka joined a growing list of tennis stars opting out of the Olympics on Monday.

Sabalenka, the reigning Australian Open champion and world No. 3, told reporters in Berlin that she was looking after her health while citing WTA tournament participation requirements. The Belarusian had struggled with a stomach bug during the French Open, where she lost in the semifinals of a major for the first time since 2022. 

“Especially with all the struggles I was having last month, I feel like I need to take care of my health. … It’s too much with the scheduling,” Sabalenka said. “It’s just too much. I made the decision to take care of my health.”

Similarly, Jabeur cited the health risks that come with the change of surface. The world No. 10 has been battling knee injuries this season, and lost in the French Open quarterfinals to Coco Gauff. 

Players will spend the next few weeks playing on grass in the lead-up to Wimbledon, while the Olympics will be played at Roland-Garros and be held on clay. 

“After consulting with my medical team regarding attending the Olympics in Paris, we have decided that the quick change of surface and the body’s adaptation required would put my knee at risk and jeopardize the rest of my season,” Jabeur posted on X, formerly known as Twitter. “Unfortunately, I will not be able to participate in the 2024 Paris Olympics. I have always loved representing my country in any competition, However, I must listen to my body and follow my medical team’s advice.”

The two join Emma Raducanu in opting out of the Olympics. Raducanu – who has dealt with a number of injuries since her US Open win in 2021 – cited the changing surface as “not worth the risk.”

Jaedyn Shaw Breaks NWSL Record for Most Goals Scored as a Teenager

Jaedyn Shaw of the san diego wave
Jaedyn Shaw is now holds the record for most NWSL goals as a teenager. (Julia Kapros-USA TODAY Sports)

Jaedyn Shaw continues to make NWSL history, surpassing Trinity Rodman for the most NWSL goals by a teenager on Saturday. 

She did it in a game against Rodman's Washington Spirit in the 20th minute of the 1-1 draw. It brings her total to 13 league goals, after making her NWSL debut at 17 years old in July 2022. 

The goal is her third this season. Shaw currently leads Wave alongside Makenzy Doniak. 

Shaw has also been a member of the USWNT, alongside Rodman, netting seven goals over 14 national team appearances. If she gets called up to this summer’s Olympics under Emma Hayes, it will mark her first official tournament with the USWNT.

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