Oct 24 2008

Welcome ESPN The Magazine Readers

Let me first welcome you to the website. The about page and my welcome post will help bring you up to speed on who I am and why I’ve created this website. You can also checkout the archives to see what I’ve posted since the inception of this website. If you’re interested in keeping up with the website, you can subscribe to updates for free by e-mail or RSS.

I suspect that you are like most people and are not up to date with the latest in basketball research. Therefore, I’m writing this post to bridge this knowledge gap. Make sure you read from start to end, as this will allow you to score a few nerd points.

Why Am I Here?

I’ll assume you’re lazy like me and didn’t click through to my about page or the welcome post that I linked above. If you’re still too lazy to take a look, here is a short list of things that drive my desire to grow this website:

  • To create and share better models of basketball
  • To provide an open source of data for independent and reproducible research
  • To increase the data tracked to improve our understanding of the game (see my defensive project for the 2008-2009 regular season as an example)

I envy baseball. Not the excitement of the game compared to basketball, but the community they have developed and the open share of information available for research.

Everyday I wake up and hope someone has put together a retrosheet for basketball and the NBA has provided an XML feed for the shot trajectories of every shot taken (see MLB’s PitchFX).

These things haven’t happened yet, but I want to push basketball into this direction. The data I am compiling and making available has really one major goal: to simplify the data gathering process for basketball research. Basketball Value has paved the way for providing similar data for some time now, but I would like to make the task of assembling data from these data sets much easier.

The State of Basketball Research

Basketball research has come a long way since Dean Oliver created the Journal of Basketball Studies way back when in the 90s. To give this some perspective, I was a pre-teen during this time doing what every other 12 year old basketball fan was doing: trying to become Michael Jordan. Oh, and in case you were wondering, this didn’t work out for me and many others like me.

So clearly this was a long time ago, but we’ve come a long way since then. Dean’s book Basketball on Paper (BoP) helped lay the foundation for the way we look at basketball in a tempo-free manner.  There is plenty of credit to be given out for bringing us to where we are today, but BoP helped fuel my interest, so I’m going to give Dean most of the credit. Sorry everyone else.

The Best Forum on the Web

The basketball analytics community hangs out at a placed called the APBRmetrics forum. This is where you’ll find the ever growing community of basketball geeks. Make sure you register for an account to join the discussion.

Other Great Sites

If you’re looking for more to read, make sure you also checkout these websites:

Thanks For Stopping By

So there you have it. You’ll have way more street cred after you’ve become familiar with all of the resources linked in this post.

If you’ve made it this far without passing out, make sure to subscribe to updates, as I suspect you just might be interested in reading future basketball research I post.

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