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Kevin Durant Too Basketball “Sabermetric” for His Own Good, By Cory Davis and Tom Kipp

From: cory davis

To: Kipp, Thomas J

Subject: Curious what you think of this, TK?!?

Kevin Durant sometimes doesn’t want to chuck heaves at the buzzer to protect his percentages, despite his coach’s wishes.


Ol’ Kevin Durant sounds like someone who’s become a bit too basketball “Sabermetric” for his own good!

On the other hand, do you think Camariah King of Holy Names would let that sorta thing stop her from taking a shot at the end of a quarter?!

By the by, I’d guess that stat mavens often ignore those last-second shots in the first place (unless they go in! LOL), as I believe the official NBA stats are still based on the results of their home team scorekeepers. I may be wrong about that, given the latter day obsession with studying film/video, and the “Sabermetric” impulses that drive so much big bucks “meta-Sports” activity, e.g. “rotisserie” leagues, which are wholly based upon player statistics.


Also sounds like KD ain’t the first NBA baller to consistently do this sorta thang!

I do recall from reading Wilt Chamberlain’s first autobiography (Wilt: Just Like Any Other 7-Foot Black Millionaire Who Lives Next Door, Macmillan, 1973) that it was widely accepted by players of his era (1959-73) that home statisticians routinely “padded” their own players’ stats, and correspondingly “shorted” visitors. This was especially feasible regarding stats that require judgment in the first place, like awarding assists and rebounds, or adjudging blocked shots and steals.

You’d be amazed how readily one person’s random “loose ball” becomes a steal when a “league leader” is involved, or how a ball that bounces on the floor gets added to a category called “team rebounds” in one situation, but credited to one of several nearby players when there’s a focus on one particular player’s league-wide standing in that department!

Not sure how easily this could be done in the modern “every game on cable” era, with heavy league- and world-wide scrutiny, but who knows.

Hope that helps,

Tom Kipp

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