Insider Status

 —  March 1, 2005

First a bit of NBA news: The word out of Boston is not only has Gary Payton’s contract been bought out by the Hawks (as was expected) but also he has already resigned in Beantown. We’ll see if this all pans out and he is back in the green uniform before tomorrow night.

And now for something completely different.

I joined ESPN.com’s insider this week after years of saying I didn’t need it. The reason is John Hollinger, and I haven’t been disappointed in what he’s done so far. His hiring by the behemoth is great news for people preaching a new statistical way to look at basketball (I’ll humbly include myself here), but it’s also good new just because he is a good and insightful writer.

Matt at Bulls Blog said it best — Hollinger could become the voice for the new basketball statistics the way Rob Neyer is for baseball. No pressure though.

For those that don’t know him, Hollinger is the man behind the Basketball Forecast (formerly Prospectus) books. What was best about his work was not only the tons of basketball information and statistics, but that Hollinger is a very clever writer. His most quoted line was his entire assessment of Bimbo Coles a few years back: “Please let the experiment finally end.”

He hasn’t disappointed early on at ESPN. His first column discussed defensive efficiency, using Orlando and Indiana as examples. He explains the idea of points per 100 possessions almost effortlessly and shows why Orlando should have hired him before ESPN did.

I’m not going to give away pay-per-view information here (well, except that he said he thinks Denver will pass the Lakers for the eight seed), but if you’re part of that not-so-exlusive insider club at ESPN be sure to check him out.

Update: Apparently I’m not the only one who is happy to see Hollinger at ESPN….