Looking Back at SSAC ’16

As we approach the final days before SSAC ’17, we wanted to reflect on some of the most memorable moments from last year’s conference. From unforgettable quotes to statement sock game, below are a few of our favorite memories from SSAC ’16: A Decade of Data.


  • What does the future of the court look like? In The Curry Landscape, Kirk Goldsberry highlighted the addition of the three-point line to the NBA; the changes it has undergone since inception; and how it has, and will continue to, dramatically shape the economic landscape of today’s game.
  • Just how comprehensive are analytics? Bob Myers, GM of the Golden State Warriors, used quite the analogy to help us envision the limitations of analytics. His quote: “Analytics are like a bikini. They show you a lot, but they don’t show you everything.”
  • Ever desperately need to squeeze in a mid-day nap, but don’t want to suffer through the groggy aftermath? Fear not, Sue Bird is here to help. While discussing Analytics in Action, Sue revealed her own life hack: drink a cup of coffee followed by a 30-minute nap; you’ll wake up feeling both rested and caffeinated. Our organizing team will be testing the theory this week, and we’ll report back with their findings.
  • Negotiations are no easy feat, especially in the world of sports. Panelists on Negotiations: Past, Present, and Future revealed their top picks for most relentless negotiators. Some of the notable winners included Jay-Z, Jerry Reinsdorf, and Danny Ainge.
  • While conversations about the practicality of wearable technology carry on, Brian Scalabrine presented another idea supporting the use of wearable technology: 24/7 surveillance for NBA players. It’s 4am…do you know where your players are?
  • In true gambling spirit, last year’s Luck vs. Skill moderator, Chad Millman, organized a pool to bet on the number of times that panelist Jeff Ma would interrupt someone during the session. The over/under was set at 4.5. All unbeknownst to Jeff, the count was at four by the end of the panel, and those who chose the under thought they were in the money. Just as Chad began to announce the outcome, Jeff interrupted to push the count to five. Talk about a dramatic comeback.
  • While there were many highlights from the Alpha Awards, seeing MIT-founded Humon win the <$1M funding track was extra exciting for the Sloan community.
  • Thomas Dimitroff and Bill Barnwell brought their A-game to the 1st and Goal: Football Analytics panel. Their football insights were equally matched by the strength of their “sock game.”

  • Lastly, #SSAC16 peaked as the third most nationally trending topic on Twitter throughout the conference and over 312,000 people tuned in to watch the Nate Silver – Daryl Morey Meeting of the Minds We can’t wait to see #SSAC17 take over the number two trending spot in just a few days!