Cleaning the Glass is built for hardcore basketball junkies. After 8 years working for NBA teams I wanted a venue to research and discuss interesting basketball topics and to bring what I learned working inside the league to its remarkably smart, sophisticated, and savvy fans.
This site will focus on quality over quantity, on thoughtfulness over quick reactions, on nuance over simplification. My hope is that every time you visit this site you come away learning something new, and that together we get a clearer view of basketball decisions, as we work to clean the glass.
For a little more detail, read below.
“What do you do?” For most people in the workforce I think the answer is pretty straightforward, but during my 8 years spent working for NBA teams it was hard to know what to say. How, exactly, did I explain what I did? I’d usually fall back on this answer, even though it often seemed to confuse more than clarify what I did for a living: “I work for the NBA team here,” I would say. “I help them make basketball decisions.”
Both as the Basketball Analytics Manager with the Blazers and in an executive role as VP of Basketball Strategy with the Sixers I’d tend to get the same type of response. “Oh, so you’re a statistician?” some might ask. Or: “a numbers guy, then?” Or, if they were familiar with the book or movie, they might exclaim: “ah, like Moneyball!” I’d smile and nod and wouldn’t press the point. But to those who dug further, I’d explain that I saw my role exactly how I described it to start: as helping the team make the decisions we faced, however I could. Under the 6 different General Managers I worked for and in my two different positions that meant a variety of tasks: everything from providing a statistical breakdown of potential trade targets to working with the coaching staff to tweaking our scouting processes (and doing some scouting myself). But, ultimately, the output of all of those tasks was a basketball decision.
The purpose of this site is, as the tagline says, to work toward a clearer view of these basketball decisions. I will touch on a wide range of topics, from analyzing players and teams to looking at draft prospects to Xs and Os, and approach them from a variety of perspectives: psychological, economic, strategic, statistical, and more. All of it, of course, informed by my experience working in the NBA and studying the game. My hope is to bring you into my thoughts about the game and the industry, to start a conversation about these topics, and to learn as I go.
And, in the end, if I’ve done this right, the glass will be just a little bit cleaner.