The Math PhD Turning Basketball Into a Science

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  • Published: 17 May 2019
  • With her PhD in math, Ivana Seric had expected to wind up with a career in academia—but thanks to the growing use of statistical analysis in the NBA, she took a job with the Philadelphia 76ers instead. As a data scientist, she helps the team's coaches devise smarter strategies to win. Next Jobs is a mini-documentary series about careers of the future hosted by Bloomberg Technology's Aki Ito.

    Video by Tom Connors and David Nicholson
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Comments • 580

  • Aki Ito
    Aki Ito  1 months back

    As the Philadelphia 76ers were gearing up for the NBA playoffs last month, I spent a few days with one of their data scientists who's playing a behind-the-scenes part in their recent comeback. Do you think that analytics is changing the way your favorite pro sport is played?

    • Cirkuit Shattter
      Cirkuit Shattter  3 weeks back

      Have you seen that guy on jeopardy lately? Data scientists are taking over.

    • Leo Anghelescu
      Leo Anghelescu  3 weeks back

      Did you predict Kawhi’s dominance? 😂😂

    • MrFuchew
      MrFuchew  3 weeks back

      Yes it has fucking ruined the NBA

    • Justin Marion
      Justin Marion  3 weeks back

      Americans are stupid people.

  • Naked Eagle
    Naked Eagle  4 days back

    Half the phd grads are 'Data Scientists', just a glorified analyst.

    • kübra kaya
      kübra kaya  5 days back

      she has a perfect job

      • Thomas Müller
        Thomas Müller  5 days back

        Thats lady from my country.

        • littlebrit
          littlebrit  1 weeks back

          I wonder how that job is interesting for her that she is PhD.

          • Yousuf Sultan
            Yousuf Sultan  1 weeks back

            Narrativea

            • BMo
              BMo  2 weeks back

              Why does she needs a PHD to do this kind of work? One does not need a PHD to do that. Most of the work is already done for her by the software. I do the same type of work and I do not have a PHD, overrated.

              • Paul Pinto
                Paul Pinto  2 weeks back

                Nobody cares if you are a man or a woman if you're doing your job well

                • Lucky Valera
                  Lucky Valera  2 weeks back

                  IVANA AND SIXERS SUCKS !!!

                  • Lucky Valera
                    Lucky Valera  2 weeks back

                    SHE FORGOT TO ANALize KAWAI BUZZER BEATER SHOT

                    • HASHIRAMA SENJU
                      HASHIRAMA SENJU  2 weeks back

                      Not only she is smart but she is actually beautiful as well

                      • Dr. KHS
                        Dr. KHS  2 weeks back

                        I think this job will replace for AI...
                        I really wants be this job. But Fucking AI

                        • manvir manj
                          manvir manj  2 weeks back

                          I have google.

                          • Black Sheep
                            Black Sheep  2 weeks back

                            Those who can play coach; those who can't coach go in to journalism; those who are too pretentious for that get into analytics. Thus spoke Zarathustra...

                            • Zeafer Jones
                              Zeafer Jones  3 weeks back

                              This is the type of stat person a team needs. She is someone who is a numbers genius but knows enough about basketball to understand that the numbers change in certain situations. For example 3 pointers are better then 2 pointers but its easier for defenders to guard the 3 point line then it is the guard mid range shooters. The thing is since she is a basketball player she understands this while others will say, "all you have to do is shoot 3s and lay ups"

                              • domz dome
                                domz dome  3 weeks back

                                I think being a woman or female is already a disadvantage for them to compete to us men or males. Whether it is in sports or academics or even in tech and engineering. One big reason is that they are the one responsible for child bearing and mostly child rearing. I'm not saying it is not doable but it is an unfair disadvantage if they're competing with men.

                                • A Feng
                                  A Feng  3 weeks back

                                  我也想干这个,首钢要我吗?

                                  • Rippy 888
                                    Rippy 888  3 weeks back

                                    I think this video is sort of pushing gender inequality. Which is all in a persons head. Look at this woman. She thought she couldn't get the job. But she got it. I don't see any reason why a woman could not do this job or any less capable than a man. I'm a male, diesel mechanic. I wish I was a scientist, if I wanted to, I could be one. I'm too lazy to go back to college and study for it I guess. I also suck at math. But if anyone wants to do something bad enough and the possibilites are reasonable, then it's just a matter of time. The fact that she thought she couldn't get the job was all inside of her head. Also you have to look at percentage of applicants for this job. The video stated only 26% data scientist were female, but you need to look at how many applicants were female vs male. I don't know for sure, but I'm guessing that the majority of applicants were male, therefore more males hold that position because there were simply more males to have applied than females.

                                    • Rippy 888
                                      Rippy 888  3 weeks back

                                      I think this video is sort of pushing gender inequality. Which is all in a persons head. Look at this woman. She thought she couldn't get the job. But she got it. I don't see any reason why a woman could not do this job or any less capable than a man. I'm a male, diesel mechanic. I wish I was a scientist, if I wanted to, I could be one. I'm too lazy to go back to college and study for it I guess. I also suck at math. But if anyone wants to do something bad enough and the possibilites are reasonable, then it's just a matter of time. The fact that she thought she couldn't get the job was all inside of her head. Also you have to look at percentage of applicants for this job. The video stated only 26% data scientist were female, but you need to look at how many applicants were female vs male. I don't know for sure, but I'm guessing that the majority of applicants were male, therefore more males hold that position because there were simply more males to have applied than females.

                                      • Thomas Kim
                                        Thomas Kim  3 weeks back

                                        Data Scientist = Statistician

                                        • Unlimited Cuber
                                          Unlimited Cuber  3 weeks back

                                          She really looks like loki *surprised pikachu face*

                                          • jackhsien2002
                                            jackhsien2002  3 weeks back

                                            simply showing percentage of women data scientist does not justify that the field prefers man...

                                            • skalawitz
                                              skalawitz  3 weeks back

                                              The will to win.. I want to know the statistics or any specific number on each player about this.

                                              • DublinDapper
                                                DublinDapper  3 weeks back

                                                Jezez the gender aspect really wasn't necessary here

                                                • Kyrie English
                                                  Kyrie English  3 weeks back

                                                  00:31 she should teach Ben Simmons how to shoot...

                                                  • HEtheMAN
                                                    HEtheMAN  3 weeks back

                                                    All the analytics in the world won’t help Ben Simmons get a jump shot 😂😂

                                                    • Yian Chen
                                                      Yian Chen  3 weeks back

                                                      It is so motivated.

                                                      • Chris Elipas
                                                        Chris Elipas  3 weeks back

                                                        What kind of bike is she riding

                                                        • Mari E
                                                          Mari E  3 weeks back

                                                          She got a better jumper than Ben Simmons for real

                                                          • Mari E
                                                            Mari E  3 weeks back

                                                            I would love a job like this. I'm working on my Master's in Business Analytics. Hopefully, I can land a job in something similar

                                                            • Drew
                                                              Drew  3 weeks back

                                                              You got this

                                                          • Alvaro Hernando
                                                            Alvaro Hernando  3 weeks back

                                                            Having a PhD in math... 26% of Data Scientist in NBA are women... just wondering the amount of women having a PhD in maths...

                                                            • Radovan Zivkovic
                                                              Radovan Zivkovic  3 weeks back

                                                              Making something simple and creative into computer science . Were is this ship sailing ???

                                                              • Radovan Zivkovic
                                                                Radovan Zivkovic  3 weeks back

                                                                Adding all this science is not going to make you better , all it does is create unnecessary data that can't help anyone . On top of that , it makes team sport into individual farce . If it helps to better their health I am for it but not this . Learn the meaning of the word ignorance , because you lack knowledge of the game and what it should be .

                                                              • Hamish Robertson
                                                                Hamish Robertson  3 weeks back

                                                                that's so ignorant - are you scared of numbers or something?

                                                            • Chris Urena
                                                              Chris Urena  3 weeks back

                                                              thank steph curry for the way the game is played today

                                                              • Hassan Fakhreddine
                                                                Hassan Fakhreddine  3 weeks back

                                                                You mean Steph has created jobs in the US and aided in cutting down unemployment lol

                                                            • Kelvin Stanford
                                                              Kelvin Stanford  3 weeks back

                                                              A made up job. Their are super fans who are more knowledgeable and can predict who has a better jump, a better pick and roll and etc.

                                                            • Magnus Vern Magnum
                                                              Magnus Vern Magnum  3 weeks back

                                                              All this data stuff is bullshit. Keep relying on data, and enjoy losing before the conference finals

                                                              • Winston Thompson
                                                                Winston Thompson  3 weeks back

                                                                this was a great cover. data science for the win!!

                                                                • KAYFO
                                                                  KAYFO  3 weeks back

                                                                  There is a magnet in the ball and in the rim. NBA decide whether shot goes in or not...

                                                                • anthony gouche
                                                                  anthony gouche  3 weeks back

                                                                  “ turning it into” getcho goof ass
                                                                  Wtf u think people are doin out there everyday

                                                                  • Win Heber Goklas Sianipar

                                                                    Raptor have better data scientist 😂

                                                                    • Mr Bojangles
                                                                      Mr Bojangles  3 weeks back

                                                                      10 (wo)man analytics team. Very impressive.

                                                                      • Ivan Ivan
                                                                        Ivan Ivan  3 weeks back

                                                                        Every time she Said Eevanha my ears hurt

                                                                        • lopsy80
                                                                          lopsy80  3 weeks back

                                                                          This bs right here

                                                                          • BRBallin1
                                                                            BRBallin1  3 weeks back

                                                                            Sounds like overengineered bullcrap, unless you believe the past is always an indication of the future which is not how the world tends to work.

                                                                            • Joey Jojo
                                                                              Joey Jojo  3 weeks back

                                                                              this data works better for MLB or NFL cause in the NHL/NBA the coaches usually go with gut feeling and a name like Reddick or Leonard. Though I will say that thanks to this data now every team has deadly 3 point average compared to 20 yrs ago where you had 1 or 2 players who could shoot from behind the 3 pt line.

                                                                              • CHRISTIAN. JUNIOR
                                                                                CHRISTIAN. JUNIOR  3 weeks back

                                                                                Data science + business degree is lit

                                                                                • fyaycr
                                                                                  fyaycr  3 weeks back

                                                                                  so she is behind all those ridiculous stats?

                                                                                  • Adrian Arshad
                                                                                    Adrian Arshad  3 weeks back

                                                                                    Daryl Morey and the analytics folks have been doing this for the last 20 damn years. Sabermetrics, shot value, efficiency ... and it hasn't won them a single damn Championship. Numbers only take you so far: in the end, it's all down to talent, grit and effort when everyone's arms are too damn tired to shoot the same 45 percent arc they do in the regular season. Not to say that it isn't useful, of course, but the team with the better chemistry and the better coaching adjustments beats a bunch of numbers adjudging tendency and conversion rates any day, every day.

                                                                                    • 1mo Time561
                                                                                      1mo Time561  3 weeks back

                                                                                      I guess you’re math didn’t add up