I just recently learned of the Arbitrarian, with his joining on at Hardwood Paroxysm. After reading his initial post, The Arbitrarian Manifesto, over there (and having to consult a dictionary a few times), I have to say I am looking forward to seeing what he has to say. Enough so that I went and jumped around his old blog – and I stumbled across a few interesting pieces.
In particular, I really liked his piece on comparing NBA players, Toward a basketball taxonomy. The Arbitrarian's description of it: “it's like the entire NBA in a petri dish”. That just sounds cool – and it is. 1000 players are grouped based on similarity – in graphical form. I found it fascinating to just look around it and see which players were deemed similar.
And what I could not resist doing was tracking down some players of interest to Bobcats fans. Here are a few of the Bobcats (or people associated with the squad) and who they were connected to:
Gerald Wallace -> Andrei Kirilenko: These two were in a grouping all by themselves, which seems fitting. I guess they may start to separate in future iterations, if AK47 continues to have a lessened offensive role in Utah, but that comparison really grabbed me.
Emeka Okafor -> Mike Gminski -> Chris Bosh: The G-Man I can see for Okafor, but I was surprised to see Emeka and Bosh so closely “related”.
Ralph Sampson -> Sean May -> Maurice Lucas: The Sean May comparisons show the problem with small sample sizes. May has been good, but only when he has played, which has been oh so rare. It would have to give Bobcats fans high hopes, though, if May could ever stay on the floor.
Primoz Brezec -> Lamarcus Aldridge: If I was Portland, this would really concern me.
Andre Miller -> Sam Vincent -> Dennis Johnson: Well, Sam, you did not seem to be much of a coach (yet, anyway), but at least you are in pretty decent company here (though, I guess there is pretty good company among former players who make lousy coaches as well).
Darrell Armstrong -> Raymond Felton -> Damon Stoudamire: Not sure how to feel about this one, but both players Raymond is matched with have enjoyed long, solid NBA careers. So, he has that going for him, which is nice.
I have got more, but I think I will leave the rest to you to find (or if you care, you can comment/email me the others I tracked down). Anyway, I thought it was a cool exercise in using stats and I wanted to make my readers aware of the Arbitrarians past and future work.