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  • The New Yorker.

  • It interviewed our friend and caterer about the increased focus on data in basketball, and Jalen sounded skeptical and concern, skeptical about the emphasis on analytics and concerned about the racial disparity between front offices and players who feel underappreciated and boxed out by all these new regimes.

  • So Bomani, what did you make of our pile?

  • Jaliens observation.

  • Well, this was a story in The New Yorker that I want other people to read so I can see if they notice what I noticed in that story, which was Jalen making the point that, yes, analytics should be a tool in the box.

  • I think he says it should be a wrench, not the whole box, but says that it is tough for players to have.

  • These guys who have not played basketball insists they know more about the game that somebody like Jalen does because they can analyze the numbers.

  • And what you had was a writer who was interviewing him, who basically repeatedly made it clear that he thought he was smarter than Jalen Rose when it came to basketball and dismissing what he had to offer under those same circumstances.

  • Bottom line is the path to being a coach and being an executive for black dudes in the MBA has typically been to be a player.

  • Now what they're trying to tell players is your knowledge is not good enough because it has to be something that is quantifiable.

  • Well, if that's the path for black guys to get into front offices and get to be coaches, guess what's gonna happen.

  • You're gonna have nothing but white dudes doing these jobs.

  • After a while, the interview is worth reading.

  • The interviewer, I should note, is a big Houston Rockets fan, and so there was a lot of Please don't tell me that the way that my team does it is actually this problematic.

  • But underneath all of that discourse is the realization that the nerds kind of one.

  • The nerds have kind of been the one stuffing the jocks into the lockers.

  • And I'm not saying that that is something to be proud of based on what it is.

  • Based on the idea that the front office staffing pipeline for good and for bad is looking for the quantitative skills you mentioned.

  • It's looking for people who know how to win within this modern context.

  • The modern paradigm, which is it is not merely enough to have played into have experience.

  • You're supposed to manipulate spreadsheets.

  • You're supposed to do all of this stuff having to do with information.

  • And I will say one big red herring in this entire conversation is that we talk about analytics a lot.

  • It's really just information, advanced degrees of information.

  • The problem, though, is in the pipeline.

  • Who is being fed into this and to me.

  • Oh, this gets toe stem education to get this gets to math and science for young people of color, as much as it gets to what happens in the front offices of the MBA.

  • Did the nerds win?

  • Did the white guys when did the Nerds when or did the rich guys win?

  • And I think that's an important distinction to make, because his emphasis that we have on quantitative stuff in basketball is this about the victory of the nerds of the victory of the hedge fund guys because what we've got is a lot of private equity money is now buying these n b A teams.

  • These are the guys that have the money in order to do this they're taking.

  • The approach is that they took in the world that they lived in and then applying Get there to basketball.

  • But guess what else they're probably going to bring with them from the private equity world, the diversity that's in the private equity world, which is virtually non existent, particularly as it relates to black people.

  • So when we say the nerds kind of one here, kind of, sort of, we've really got one set of nerds that keep on winning and that's the Warriors.

  • But past that, I think we overestimate just how much the people that are on the far reaches of using this quantitative data to put together their basketball teams just how successful they have actually been.

  • The other thing, I always say, and this is important.

  • You mentioned this about stem education in, you know, the direction that we started.

  • I don't know if it's easy for a lot of people watching this to relate to like what it is like to be a black person in a math class that is being taught by white people of being, you know, in those spaces were consistently and constantly underestimated the lack of black people in high levels in stem stuff is not because of our lack of ability is because of the lack of interest people have had typically in bringing us into those spaces.

  • The audacity that people would then bring that same attitude toe basketball, right?

  • The sheer audacity that you would do that when you come into this world.

  • Oh boy, like I admit that worries me.

  • And it worries the guys who are around the league, and I don't blame them for that fact, because now they've got to figure out a way to get on board.

  • It's hard to get on board with high level math.

  • You 38 years old or something like that.

  • It never done it before.

  • It is tremendously clumsy how the power structure as constituted today handles the issues that you mentioned.

  • I go to Sloan every year.

  • Sloan doesn't do a terrific job of advancing a remedy to the problem that you mentioned the underestimation, the boxing out, the idea that it's conspicuous that we don't have more people off the race of those who make up the vast majority of our game in our front offices.

  • But what sort of clear boat going back to the winning vs.

  • Losing.

  • Who won this thing?

  • This isn't changing, and I agree.

  • The hedge fund world is deeply troublesome, but it is not changing from that quantitative perspective.

  • And the only remedy is for the power brokers to begin to feed people and encourage them into that path.

  • I have two masters degrees in economics in the Sloan conference.

  • Invited me to be on a panel on activism.

  • Do you have any degrees in, like, Matt stuff I have?

  • Not only do I have no degrees, I was really bad at math.

  • What panels?

  • As you to be on when you go there.

  • Well, I'm a moderator.

  • I'm not know, but I wanted to ask you to Do I have moderated basketball analytics.

  • Okay, multiple years.

  • Right.

  • But my point remains.

  • If you ask most people to walk in this room and say which one of these dudes is good at math?

  • Who do you think they're pulling?

  • They're pulling you absolutely, absolutely pulling.

  • And that is not something that I'm coming.

  • Right, Right, right, right.

The New Yorker.

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Are analytical 'nerds' superseding experienced basketball figures in NBA front offices? | High Noon

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/07/02
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