The Los Angeles Lakers have been ridiculed in recent years for being behind the times when it comes to analytics, thanks in part to the antiquated philosophies of head coach Byron Scott. There was even a feature story in ESPN in February looking into whether this was a major problem throughout the organization.
The Lakers have been trying to sway public opinion on the topic this summer, and that continued Friday with the announcement of some changes in the front office. Jesse Buss has been promoted to Assistant General Manager/Director of Scouting, while Ryan West is now Director of Player Personnel.
But the most notable change is the promotion of Clay Moser to Assistant Coach/Director of Basketball Strategy. Moser has been with the organization for several years, and in this new position, he’ll act as a bridge between the coaching staff and analytics department. The Lakers made it a point to highlight key members of their analytics department in their press release.
Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak spoke to Sam Amick of USA TODAY Sports about the changes, and he also spoke highly of the analytics team:
“The five people that we talked about who are in charge of accumulating, acquiring and interpreting the data, I feel they measure up to anybody in the league,” Kupchak said. “I would put them against anybody in the league … I would not hesitate to put our department in a debate with any other (analytics) department (of another team). I know that they would be great.”
The Lakers appear persistent in making sure people know they mean business when it comes to the numbers game. This upcoming season, we’ll see if the team on the court follows some of the analytics trends that are sweeping across the NBA.