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Before 2012, owner Jim Crane hired GM Jeff Luhnow and director of decision sciences Sig Mejdal, formerly of NASA, and the duo now lead a nine-man sabermetrics staff that includes a medical risk manager and a mathematical modeler. Their unwavering devotion to gaining an edge with defensive shifts has commish Rob Manfred considering a leaguewide ban.
In 2006, owner Leslie Alexander tapped Daryl Morey, a littleknown SVP of operations and information for the Celtics, as GM to relaunch the Rockets, who employed multiple analysts before most teams had even one.
After 84 years without a Series win, the Sox were salvaged in '02 by John Henry, an owner whose fortune grew from data-driven investments.
Bowman says next-level metrics have given Chicago a sharp edge on a league that, like the NFL, is slow to adapt: "I use them a lot, but I don't talk about it a lot-it's not about me, it's about how it helps us." The Lakers infamously had the only NBA front office without a rep at the 2013 MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, and their old-school approach hasn't progressed much.
Now "Moreyball" -- an up-tempo system that eschews midrange shots in favor of fast breaks and 3s -- is the NBA standard.
The Sixers may be on the come, but "the Rockets continue to increase investment in analytics," Morey says, "and we try to stay ahead of the competition." With all due respect to Mr.
San Antonio was also an original subscriber to Sport VU cameras, which track player-location data at a rate of 25 times per second, data that has optimized Gregg Popovich's emphasis on resting aging stars for deep playoff runs.
"Analytics have been an important component of who we are since I walked in the door 15 years ago," says owner Mark Cuban, an early adopter of adjusted plus-minus.