#22 Re: The Injuries. Come On Man It Must Be a C
Tue Dec 11, 2012 12:24 pm by Nivek
I agree with just about everything you're suggesting, CCJ. Teams burn money on player salaries and then get cheap on stuff that could help, and actually costs a lot less than hiring another player.
I think I've shared this story on the boards, but if not...it's been long enough ago...
Back in 2006, I did a short stint as a "consultant" for the Wizards with my defensive tracking project. It was mainly a trial thing. Which was bizarre in itself. I approached them with half a season of data and they asked for a report on the next 5 games. Okay...a 41-game sample is better than a 5-game sample, but...it's their money.
The 5-game sample grew to 10 games and then I asked for a fee for the remainder of the season. My front office contact replied several days later that it was too high. (I won't say exactly how much it was, but it was significantly less than $10k for the remaining 30 or so games.) No counter-offer. So, I reduced the fee 25%. Same response: it's not in our budget. I cut it again -- to half of what I'd originally asked. No response at all.
About the same time, the Wizards signed Billy Thomas to a couple 10-day contracts and then for the remainder of the season. He ended up playing 145 total minutes with the team that season and got paid a bit more than $200k.
Now, maybe they were right not to hire me. Maybe my data was garbage. That's not the feedback I got from...well...anyone, including people who worked for the team. (Closest thing I got to a negative response was from Eddie Jordan who said, "I'm not a big stat guy...") Looking at the standings for that season, the Wiz were the 5th seed with 42 wins. Moving up in the standings would've taken another 8-10 victories, and I don't think my stuff would have made that much of a difference. It might have helped in the playoffs (that was the year they lost in 6 to Lebron and Cleveland).
But, it woulda cost a lot less than Billy Thomas. And I think it would've helped more than Thomas did. (Obviously a biased view, but still.)
"A lot of what we call talent is the desire to practice."
-- Malcolm Gladwell
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