Online home of Jeremy Scheff

How I almost got a job with the Sixers, and a Twitter analysis of the 2015 NBA draft class

As you may know, I wrote this cool basketball video game and work as a data scientist. A couple years ago, back in the Hinkie era when the Sixers were a forward-thinking organization, someone in the Sixers front office noticed those two things about me and asked me to apply for a job. It was a somewhat long and unclear process. They didn't seem to know what they were hiring for or what their criteria were (or maybe they did and I was just a bad fit). Regardless, eventually I didn't get the job, but as part of the application I did a mini analysis project, and 2 years out, I figure I might as well share that.

The project was: tell us some useful quantitative information about the 2015 draft class, but don't use any basketball stats or physical measurements.

That's really fucking hard! Not only are stats and physical measurements super important, they are also easy to access in structured format. Most other data requires a lot more effort before you're even at the point of beginning to analyze it. So immediately my mind went to Twitter, since at least there I have a semi-structured dataset: a list of Tweets for each player. Check out my silly analysis here. As best I could tell, the Sixers thought it was pretty cool!

Anyway, as I said, I didn't get the job. Then shortly after, Hinkie was fired, so maybe it was all for the best.