Sacramento Kings part ways with advanced stats guru Dean Oliver
Dean Oliver is, sorry about the pun, the dean of NBA advanced statistics. He is the guy behind the four factors, and his book “Basketball on Paper” is a foundational piece, a must first read for anyone who cares about advanced stats in the NBA. He’s a top NBA analytics mind, and he was at NBA Summer League working for the Kings.
He was the person then new Kings’ owner Vivek Ranadive specifically brought in to do analytics after taking over the team.
Now Oliver the latest casualty in the front office turnover in Sacramento, something confirmed by CSNBayArea’s Bill Herenda.
When the head man is changed in an organization, some underlings get caught up in the changing tide. Maybe that is what is happening here. But after a summer of front office changes, letting go of one of the game’s best numbers guy on the surface fits in with a narrative the Kings have been fighting.
The first reports that came out about this said new GM Vlade Divac was opposed to advanced analytics and he didn’t want to listen to it. Herenda and other sources close to the Kings shot that idea down.
The challenge for a lot of organizations — and it appears the Kings — is finding a way to take the information the analytics people are finding and putting it in a digestible form that the coaches and rest of the front office can use (and in some cases, getting those GMs and coaches to actually listen). Communication is the key and a challenge.
Apparently that needs some work in Sacramento.