Vice President of Basketball Operations, Memphis Grizzlies
John Hollinger enters his second season with the Memphis Grizzlies as vice president of basketball operations. Best known for his work at the forefront of basketball’s analytics movement, Hollinger is the inventor of advanced stats such as Player Efficiency Rating (PER), Offensive Efficiency, Defensive Efficiency and Pace Factor, as well as several other tools that analyze and forecast team and player performance.
With the Grizzlies, Hollinger’s analytics background is vital in analyzing personnel decisions such as trades, draft, free agency and salary cap management. He’s also spearheading the development of the Grizzlies’ analytics infrastructure, while maintaining a hand in more traditional basketball functions such as scouting and player development.
Before coming to the Grizzlies, Hollinger was an NBA columnist for ESPN.com for eight years. His daily “PER Diem” column was a mainstay of their coverage, while analytic tools he developed such as Power Rankings, Playoff Odds and Draft Rater became key elements of the site. Hollinger also covered major events such as the Finals, All-Star Game and playoffs, and created annual scouting reports for every player and team in the league, developed a Twitter following of over 125,000 fans at @johnhollinger, and contributed chats, video and radio while at ESPN. He also appeared periodically on TV programs such as “Numbers Never Lie.”
From 2002-05, Hollinger authored four annual edition of the Pro Basketball Forecast – first known as the Pro Basketball Prospectus – a book with stats and reports on every player and team in the league. Those reports were later folded into his scouting reports for ESPN.com.
Hollinger’s books were the first to introduce his PER formula to a national audience. PER is a rating of a player’s per-minute statistical performance that Hollinger developed to make player comparisons easier, and has become a widely used standard over the past decade. His also developed several other statistics that are now in wide use today, including Rebound Rate, Usage Rate, Pure Point Rating, Game Score, and Estimated Wins, and used similarity scores and regression analysis to forecast player performance and analyze draft prospects.
While writing his books, Hollinger covered the NBA as an editor and writer for SI.com from 2002-05. He also authored a column for the New York Sun newspaper three days a week. Prior to joining SI.com, he was the sports editor for Oregonlive.com.
Hollinger first gained notoriety as the creator of Alleyoop.com, a Web site devoted to basketball analytics that he created in 1996. At Alleyoop.com, Hollinger first developed several of his statistical formulas, as well as publishing articles on the league and his advanced stats, and his work gained nationwide recognition.
Hollinger is a native of New Jersey, where he played on his high school basketball team. He graduated from the University of Virginia with degrees in economics and environmental science. Hollinger lives in Memphis with his wife Judy.