“Mamba Magnificence: A look back at Kobe Bryant’s career”.

 

Basketball has always ruled Principal Research Statistician Developer Clay Barker’s world. As a youngster he fell in love with the Atlanta Hawks and his passion for the game only intensified when he moved from Atlanta to the basketball Mecca of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. So naturally, when it came time to choose a career, all those years studying the back of his basketball cards made the decision to pursue statistics an easy one. In this presentation, Clay looks at scoring over the course of Kobe Bryant’s 20-year career to see if his performance really dropped in that latter stages of his career, as many of his critics claim. Using JMP’s Generalized Regression Platform, Clay uses the lasso to look for changepoints along with other features like home court indicator, opponent, nights off (by season), and playoff indictor to analyze and visualize how Kobe’s performance changed over time. Clay notes some obvious conclusions, particularly when looking at the first decade against the second, and as a bonus, examines how Kobe’s career trajectory compares to Michael Jordan, who many believed to be the best basketball player in NBA history.

 

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