ESPN's loss is the Memphis Grizzlies' significant gain.
BREAKING: Griz have hired ESPN's John Hollinger to front-office position, per sources. CA story coming...— Commercial Appeal (@CAGrizBlog) December 13, 2012
This is just another sign that the NBA is continuing to follow in the footsteps of Major League Baseball toward a more statistical-driven approach at looking at the game.
All of Hollinger's work at ESPN has been based on advanced statistics, and while—just like in baseball—many old-fashioned NBA heads don't approve of it or think it's useless, it's hard not to be blown away by the work of the 41-year-old analyst.
Many of his cutting-edge findings have been groundbreaking.
If you've ever wondered where Player Efficiency Rating (PER)—the increasingly popular stat that gives a player's value in one simple number—comes from, it's from Hollinger, who created the formula several years ago.
Good hire by Memphis?
It's clear that the Grizzlies' new ownership group is interested in getting a unique statistical look at the game of basketball, and it wouldn't be surprising to see other teams follow suit.
In fact, according to NBAstuffer.com, several teams already have individuals in "Moneyball" positions. Daryl Morey and the Houston Rockets' staff have been using advanced stats quite famously for a while now.
The hiring of Hollinger, who has spent his career in the media working on different models and innovative ways to look at the sport, provides more evidence that the game of basketball, or at the least the ways in which we look at basketball, is evolving.
Only one question now remains: Who will play him in Moneyball 2?