SBJ/June 9-15, 2014/People and Pop Culture
Plugged In: Todd Essman, RealGM
Published June 9, 2014, Page 3
Analytics are really about finding new ways and new opportunities to separate yourself from the competition.”
On tracking player medical histories: We leave it to teams to tell us how they want to evaluate that stuff, but what we do is track every possible component of an injury and give teams the raw data. It comes down to every possible nuance: the type of injury, treatment, healing time, body type and so forth. But it’s a huge new thing to be able to capture and analyze that data. As we get more and more histories, we’ll get a clearer picture of what’s likely to happen to a particular player. It’s getting really detailed.
On when analytics can be used for predictive modeling in injury recovery: We have injury histories going back about four seasons now. Even that is a study in and of itself, figuring out how much history you need to get really good predictive modeling. But we’re getting to a point where we have a 75 percent confidence level [on predicting outcomes], and once we have seven or eight years of data, you might be able to really nail down determinations of how likely certain treatments are going to work. ... In the near future, we’re really going to be tightening our grip of understanding this.
On managing the limitations of the NBA’s current salary cap and collective-bargaining agreement: Trades have definitely become more difficult, structuring contracts, understanding them, making them work for teams for their salary cap plans going into the future. A lot of usage on the team side now is less about playing with potential trade scenarios than simply researching, understanding, and analyzing current and past contracts.