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Old 03-26-14, 03:01 AM
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Times they are a changin' for NBA front office staffers

There is a growing concern that the rise in the popularity of basketball analytics (such as player efficiency rating and true shooting percentage) has led to more stat-based personnel hires rather than ex-players becoming general managers. One former star in the NBA who is now a team executive said that there is a divide within front offices between those who are perceived to be stat guys and those who are considered basketball lifers. "Basketball guys who participated in the game through years of rigorous training and practice, decades of observation work through film and field participation work feel under-utilized and under-appreciated and are quite insulted because their PhDs in basketball have been downgraded," the executive, who chose to remain anonymous, told ESPN NBA Insider Chris Broussard.

ne longtime executive, who also chose to remain anonymous, postulated that one reason why so many jobs are going to people with greater analytical backgrounds is because newer and younger owners may better identify with them. "Generally speaking, neither the [newer generation of] owners nor the analytic guys have basketball in their background," the longtime executive told Broussard. "This fact makes it easy for both parties to dismiss the importance of having experience in and knowledge of the game. "Most new owners come from the financial world so they rely on analytics as an important part of their business models outside of the NBA. In the attempt to better understand the game [of basketball], the newer owners put analytic-minded guys in place to run their organizations who utilize similar methods and techniques that are familiar to them. There is a comfort level for both parties."

Some executives fear reliance on stats keeping ex-NBA players out of front offices - ESPN
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