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Confessions of an NBA Scorekeeper



I found this story from the Blogfather, and found it really interesting. This guy's story was just an internet legend to me before reading this story, as there was no way I was going to trust a random post on a random message board claiming to be a former scorekeeper for the Grizzlies.  But this story proves to me that it is true, and it is mind blowing.

 

"That was my first exposure to the subjectivity of NBA statistics," he says. "I had come from the ivory tower where everything was straightforward. ... In Detroit, they'd show us a little video clip, and we'd enter it on our computer. That's a basket, no assist or whatever. Everyone around me would be giving assists. I was like, 'Really?' The dude passed it to a guy on the wing, who did a headfake, took two dribbles and made a jumper. And that's an assist?"

Alex quickly found that a scorekeeper is given broad discretion over two categories: assists and blocks (steals and rebounds are also open to some interpretation, though not a lot). "In the NBA, an assist is a pass leading directly to a basket," he says. "That's inherently subjective. What does that really mean in practice? The definition is massively variable according to who you talk to. The Jazz guys were pretty open about their liberalities. ... John Stockton averaged 10 assists. Is that legit? It's legit because they entered it. If he's another guy, would he get 10? Probably not."

 

Last year I remember watching a youtube video about CP3, and how he gets more assists at home than on the road, but this story makes it a league wide problem, not just the Hornets.  Home and road splits shown in this story prove this happens alot all around the league. If CP3 didn't avg over 10 assist per game, would he still be an MVP canidate? What if he only gets about 8 per game? That is still really good, but is it MVP good? I have to wonder if any player who makes their living on steals, assists, rebounds, or blocks is really as good as they seem.

How this relates to the Blazers, both Joel and Greg were top rebounders last season, but were they really? And with this year being a big year for Greg, if he "breaks out" by avg 15/13/3, will it be because the Portland stat keeper helped him out with 1 or 2 extra rebounds per game, and 1 extra block per game? If that is the case, is it a bad thing? If everyone else is doing it, should the Blazers? Are the Blazers?

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