Word on the Street

Triple Bumble (trip’-uhl bum’-bul) noun. An embarrassing and ignominious triple single (triple-double) in which one of the three “single” categories is turnovers.

Usage example:Every player wants to achieve a triple single. Unless, of course, it’s actually a triple bumble.”

Word history: The term was coined by the Silent Assassin staff last February while watching Dwight Howard put up 21 points, 16 rebounds, and 11 turnovers against the Bulls. (And this is going to blow your socks the hell off, but the Magic still won that game.) Silent Assassin reader 8Ball thinks the triple bumble should be called the “D-Wade triple single” because Wade destroyed his fantasy basketball season (in the turnover category anyway) in 2005-06. But as you shall soon see, the triple bumble has a long and inglorious history that predates Wade’s shameful accomplishment.

Word trivia: Thanks to basketball-reference.com, Everybody now can look up the last 20 years worth of triple bumbles. All 41 of them. Unfortunately, the site doesn’t have box scores prior to the 1986-87 season. That’s a shame, too, because I’m sure there were lots of triple bumbles in those early days, when basketball teams consisted mostly of awkward white stiffs with paper bags for shoes, and the ball itself was actually just an old potato.

Note 1: In some of the following cases, the player had both a standard triple single and 10 or more turnovers, making it an even rarer quadruple bumble.

Note 2: You know who is entirely absent from this list? Okay, get ready to pick up your jaw here: Stephon Marbury. I know. Shocked me, too. I had already prewritten an entire paragraph under the assumption that Starbury would be the league’s all-time leader in triple bumbles. But, believe it or not, Marbury has never turned the ball over 10 times or more. His career-high is 9 turnovers (which he’s done several times, but still). I guess it sort of makes sense, since he really only passes the ball when he absolutely has to.

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Labels: Stephon Marbury (Starbury) / Dwight Howard / Dwyane Wade (D-Wade) / Chicago Bulls / Orlando Magic / 1986-87 NBA season / NBA / Word on the Street

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