Dean Oliver

Dean Oliver

Data Scientist

Dean Oliver, who joined ESPN in May 2024 as a data scientist, is a well-known statistician renowned for his pioneering work in basketball analytics.

In his role at ESPN, he focuses on basketball player metrics and is heavily involved with the NBA Basketball Power Index (BPI). This marks Oliver’s second tenure at ESPN, during which he previously served as the Director of Production Analytics from 2011-2014.

With a career spanning more than two decades, Oliver has been instrumental in revolutionizing the way basketball is analyzed and understood on and off the court. Prior to his ESPN return, Oliver was an assistant coach with the Washington Wizards. During his time with the organization, he played a pivotal role in implementing advanced statistical methods to evaluate player performance, game strategies, and opponent scouting. 

From 2015-19, Oliver continued and expanded his analytics work with TruMedia, an engineering firm that focuses on sports analytics. Prior to that, he was involved in different stops throughout the NBA, including the Sacramento Kings, 2014-15 (Director of Player Personnel and Analytics), Denver Nuggets, 2006-11 (Director of Quantitative Analysis), and Seattle SuperSonics, 2004-06 (Consultant).

In 2002, Oliver wrote Basketball on Paper, which became the handbook for how to do basketball analytics. In November of 2024, his second book, Basketball Beyond Paper, will come out with advance praise.

After his collegiate basketball career, Oliver pursued academic achievements, graduating with honors in engineering from the California Institute of Technology in 1990, and earning a Ph.D. in statistical applications in environmental science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1994, all while actively scouting for Bertka Views, a scouting organization run by longtime assistant coach for the Los Angeles Lakers, Bill Bertka.

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