(Points + Rebounds + Steals + ½Assists + ½Blocked Shots – Field Goal Attempts – Turnovers - ½Free Throw Attempts - ½Personal Fouls) / Minutes = Win Score per Minute

Monday, February 12, 2007

John Amaechi - Why Didn't Utah Give Him a Chance?

I'd like to post a few quick thoughts on John Amaechi. This topic hits close to home (literally) because he has made some accusations against the Utah Jazz, which happen to be my hometown team. If you follow this blog at all in the future, you'll probably notice a bit of bias toward the Jazz. I'll try to keep it to a minimum.

Among the many other things Mr. Amaechi has said in the past week, he has had many things to say, both positive and negative, about the Utah Jazz organization. I listened to an interview on the local sports radio station as I drove home from work this evening. He said a lot of interesting things, but the one I'd like to comment on is his position that Jerry Sloan was biased against him because of his sexual orientation.

Mr. Amaechi said that he was not given a fair chance to play in Utah. That he deserved to play more minutes and have a chance to show what he could do. Let's see what the numbers tell us. First let's look at his career numbers up to the point that he was signed by the Utah Jazz. Amaechi played three seasons before going to the Jazz; one for Cleveland and two for Orlando. We'll discount his early days in Cleveland and focus on the two seasons in Orlando: the best two seasons of his career. In those seasons he played 3,394 minutes and posted averages of 9.2 points and 3.3 rebounds a game. Underwhelming stats for a man who stood 6 feet 10 inches tall. Even more underwhelming is his Win Score per minute of .057. The average Win Score per minute of a center is .225, so we can see that Amaechi was already far below average.

For some reason the Jazz decided to sign him. Maybe they thought he had potential to become a better player. Who knows. Let's see how that turned out. In his two years with the Jazz, Amaechi managed to lower his standards, and ended up with a Win Score per minute of .0075. That's two zeros before the seven.

All in all, John Amaechi ended his illustrious career with a Win Score/min of .041. He shot 40% for his career. He averaged only 6.4 rebounds per 40 minutes. He committed almost as many turnovers as assists, blocks and steals combined. Never, in his entire career, did he record one double double.

Now I don't know Jerry Sloan, and he may or may not be biased against homosexuals. But the Jazz had options at center like Greg Ostertag, who wasn't a great player by any measure, but managed to be decent at times. He rated a Win Score/min of .193 in 2002-2003, and was obviously a better choice for minutes than Amaechi.

When it comes down to it, the evidence seems to point to another reason for Amaechi's lack of playing time. He just wasn't a very good NBA player.

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