Quick Links

Does former Wizard Jerry Stackhouse know the formula for landing a front office job?

Does former Wizard Jerry Stackhouse know the formula for landing a front office job?

Just the other day, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver didn't sound like he was sold on a "Rooney Rule" such as what the NFL has to ensure minority candidates are included the interview process.

This is what he told Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe:

In terms of specifically a Rooney Rule, to be honest, I’m not sure how effectively that works in the NFL. I do think we need to do more. I’m just not sure if it results in something that looks like a Rooney Rule or something more unique to the NBA.

Jerry Stackhouse, who has been an NBA assistant and led the Toronto Raptors' D-League affiliate to their first championship this year, already is thinking along those lines for himself.

"I don't mean for it to sound easy but this is kind of what I do. This is my life," said Stackhouse, who played 18 NBA seasons with eight different teams that inlcuded 2002-04 in Washington.

"Anything on the basketball court doesn't feel foreign to me at all, coaching, teaching, instruction. Knowing drill work with guys and getting out and playing still. I still enjoy that. I don't think there's enough us as far as African Americans in charge of budgets of teams, different things like that."

In the musical chairs that can be coaching and front-office roles, John Hammond left the Milwaukee Bucks to fill the GM role for the Orlando Magic; Travis Schlenk left the Golden State Warriors to take over as GM of the Atlanta Hawks. 

Just as the game on the court has changed with the emphasis on small ball and de-emphasis on true centers who play with their backs to the basket, front-office roles have shifted, too.

MORE WIZARDS: 2017 NBA Draft: Potential names the Wizards should consider in Round 2

The NBA has relied heavily on former players in key positions such as coaching, but more often front-office spots are going to younger people with backgrounds in analytics, many of whom are white, over people with playing experience. 

Like any statistic, the numbers can be misused. Misinterpret what they mean or over or undervalue them and they can make a good situation bad or a bad situation worse. But even before the 2016-17 season began, this was the tone of conversation from The Undefeated when addressing analytics in terms of race and NBA front-office positions.

The gist: Black people don't do analytics. A discussion worthy of being had about how and why the numbers are dwindling in NBA front offices but based on a conclusion that's not true. 

Just because a dozen guys in a barber shop don't know or care about it isn't a fair sample size no more than 50 "people" on Twitter feigning outrage over a topic makes that an accurate gauge of what actual readers care about. Analytics is as much of generational thing as it is a race thing. When I was talking via phone a few years ago to then-Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak, who is white, played from 1976-86 and even acquired multiple Larry O'Brien trophies during his tenure, he couldn't have come across more dismissive about metrics. 

No, after a game is over, players in the locker room aren't debating points per 100 possessions, where they rank in pick-and-roll ballhandler efficiency or true shooting percentages. All of those discussions are held in front offices that see a cumulative tally over the course of time to determine what trends and combinations work or don't work with their coaching staffs. It's an inexact science but a necessary tool – or evil pending your view.

Analytics aren't going anywhere. Former players such as Stackhouse can still get in front of the line if they don't turn a blind eye toward it. If both worlds are bridged correctly, the numbers should back up what plays out on the court. Of course, that requires seeing the game through the correct lens, too, which is where Stackhouse's hands-on acumen would come into play.

"Maybe decide to step away for a minute (from coaching) and be able to get more of a foundation to be able to come to the table with more of that package. That's really intriguting to me as well," said Stackhouse, who was named D-League coach of the year after sitting on the Raptors' bench the previous season under Dwane Casey. "We have a lot more to offer than just within the 94 feet of basketball."

Stackhouse, 42, is confident about what he knows about the game but realizes he has more ground to cover to be prepared for that step.

"Most of these guys in the front office, I can go get what they've got. They can't go get what I have (in playing experience)," he said. "It's a love for this game. This is all I've known how to do since I was probably nine or 10 years old."

What the league can do is help train former players who want to learn how to do the job in 2017. And the players can't be dismissive of the process as unfair. Just as big men have had to adapt by shooting from and defending at the three-point arc, this challenge for some isn't that much different.

“I think ultimately where it will pan out is I think you need both. As I watched in the league it’s gone to all basketball experience and no analytics, and then you move to probably too much analytics, and right now as I look in the league we’re still striving to find that right balance," Silver told The Globe.

"I think the way we can help ensure that those candidates get a fair hearing, those candidates who aren’t steeped, who didn’t go to MIT, is to ensure they have the type of analytics training that is necessary.”

It doesn't have to be an either-or proposition. Both needs can be met but there is an adjustment period. 

MORE WIZARDS: Wizards host two good options for their second-round pick

Quick Links

2017-18 Wizards roster review: Ian Mahinmi

USA Today Sports Images

2017-18 Wizards roster review: Ian Mahinmi

To wrap up the 2017-18 season, we are looking at each player on the Wizards' roster. Today, we evaluate Ian Mahinmi's season...

Player: Ian Mahinmi

Position: Center

Age: 31

2017-18 salary: $15.9 million

2017-18 stats: 77 G, 14.9 mpg, 4.8 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 0.7 apg, 0.5 spg, 0.5 bpg, 55.6 FG%, 00.0 3P%, 70.3 FT%, 55.6 eFG%, 107 ORtg, 107 DRtg

Best game: 1/12 vs. Magic - 17 points, 8 rebounds, 3 blocks, steal, assist, 7-for-8 FG, 3-for-4 FT

Season review: After missing 51 games in the 2016-17 season, the first of his four-year contract with the Wizards, center Ian Mahinmi managed to stay healthy for the entirety of 2017-18. He appeared in 77 games and gave the Wizards a good look at the player they signed to a $64 million deal in free agency.

Mahinmi was a mainstay in the Wizards' rotation as their backup center. While Marcin Gortat started all 82 games at center, Mahinmi at times got the nod late in games as head coach Scott Brooks favored his defense.

Though Mahinmi was available all season, he still fell short of the numbers he put up in his last year in Indiana, in 2015-16. Mahinmi's minutes per game were his fewest since 2010-11, and his points and rebounds were his fewest since 2013-14. 

Mahinmi's numbers were affected by his low minutes, as he could never quite crack the top six or seven spots in Brooks' rotation. His numbers per 36 minutes, however, were on par with how he played in Indiana before the Wizards signed him to a big contract.

2015-16 per 36: 13.1 ppg, 10.1 rpg, 1.5 bpg, 1.3 spg

2017-18 per 36: 11.5 ppg, 9.8 rpg, 1.3 bpg, 1.2 spg

That, of course, only means so much. Mahinmi may have been relatively efficient with his minutes, but the consistency wasn't there to convince Brooks and the coaching staff to increase his role.

It will be interesting to see what the team plans for Mahinmi next season, as this summer could bring changes to their frontcourt. Both of their starting big men - Gortat and Markieff Morris - have one year left on their contracts. If Gortat in particular is dealt, that could open the door for Mahinmi to earn more playing time.

The Wizards could also add to their frontcourt through the draft. If they get a rim-protecting big man in the first round, that could be bad news for Mahinmi's playing time. Like several Wizards players, Mahinmi's role is up in the air entering this summer.

Potential to improve: Finishing around rim, consistency, limiting fouls

More player season reviews:

John Wall, PG

Bradley Beal, SG

Otto Porter, SF

Markieff Morris, PF

Marcin Gortat, C

Kelly Oubre, Jr., SF

Tomas Satoransky, PG

NBC Sports Washington is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Quick Links

Wizards working out Kentucky's Hamidou Diallo another sign the two sides might be a good fit

USA Today Sports Images

Wizards working out Kentucky's Hamidou Diallo another sign the two sides might be a good fit

The University of Kentucky was well-represented at the Wizards' first pre-draft workout on Tuesday at Capital One Arena, as All-Star point guard John Wall sat courtside to watch a young player who could join him next season in Washington.

The Wizards hosted Kentucky guard Hamidou Diallo just days after interviewing him at the NBA Combine in Chicago, Ill., another sign the 19-year-old is a legitimate option for their second round pick, set for 44th overall in next month's draft.

Diallo, who is originally from Queens, NY., said he is friends with Wall, as the two have crossed paths due to the Kentucky connection. 

"I feel like he knows what I'm capable of," Diallo said.

He now hopes the Wizards front office understands what he can do. Diallo is a defensive-minded wing who measured 6-foot-6 (with shoes) at the combine and with a 7-foot wingspan. He had the fifth-best max vertical leap at the combine, coming in at 40.5 inches. He was also the 12th-ranked player in the class of 2017 out of high school.

The measurables and pedigree are impressive, but Diallo's potential has yet to be realized. He didn't play a game despite attending Kentucky in the 2016-17 academic year. He tested the NBA Draft waters last summer before returning to Kentucky to average a modest 10.0 points and 3.6 rebounds.

Diallo has already worked out for the Chicago Bulls and will meet with plenty more teams, but is currently projected by most mock drafts to be a second round pick. This time he hired an agent and will definitely be making the leap.

"It feels good this year going through it with both feet in. It's been a great process," he said.

The Wizards like Diallo's defensive ability, his speed and awareness in the open floor and his potential to improve as a shooter. Diallo shot 33.8 percent from three on 2.1 attempts per game in the 2017-18 season.

"I hope to show my athleticism and how that plays a big part on the defensive end," Diallo said of his goals in pre-draft workouts.

"[The Wizards] are a team that wants to play fast and they have a fast point guard that needs players to keep up with him. That's what I tried to show in this workout, to show how fast I can play and show how composed I can play."

If the Wizards deem Diallo worth taking a chance on, he would provide a nice fit positionally. Though their second round pick could spend much of next season in the G-League, Diallo plays shooting guard and they have a need behind starter Bradley Beal. 

The Wizards see Tomas Satoransky as a possibility at backup shooting guard and Jodie Meeks is expected to return next season on a player option. But those guys were on the roster in 2017-18 and couldn't fill the void behind Beal, who logged more minutes than all but three players in the league. Meeks is also set to begin the 2018-19 season serving a suspension.

Diallo played at a big-time program and has the athleticism to compete at the NBA level early on. He could help a team improve long-term at guarding the perimeter, an area the Wizards have made strides in but still have a ways to go. That was seen in their playoff series against the Raptors when Toronto averaged 11.0 threes made per game and shot 41 percent.

Though it's early in the draft workout process, the Wizards have made it clear they are interested in Diallo.

NBC Sports Washington is on Apple News. Favorite us!