According to Ayotunde, no other sports has really absorbed and embraced the beautiful wonders that analytics have got on display as basketball has. He believes when you combine the eye test with what the numbers say you have a clear perception and there won`t be any room for argument.
The perception is what he plans to bring to basketball fans across the world as he launches his new show "Basketball in Numbers". With the show, he plans to bring answers into age-long arguments such as "who is the greatest player of all time?", "Who are the best players in the last decade?" the best centre, the best guards, etc.
Ayotunde believes analytics provides the perfect partnership to the eye test and helps identify those things that may have been missed by the eyes to deliver a true assessment. The numbers do not lie, right?
"The evolution of data has made it possible for numbers to do a profound work of identifying those factors that affect basketball decisions which the ordinary eye would have missed because you know how fast-paced basketball is compared to other team sports - so fast that it should not be a surprise that you can watch and still miss some things."
"My decision to focus on basketball analytics on my show, Basketball in Numbers, is simply based on the fact that analytics has already become a major part of basketball and it will be absolutely exciting to see exactly how the stories told by numbers compare to the stories we have been told simply by what people saw. It is intriguing, to say the least."
The show will break down advanced statistics such as Effective Field=Goal (FG) percentages, Free Throw Rate (FTR), Offensive and Defensive Ratings, Win Shares, Box Plus/Minus (BPM), Value Over Replacement Player (VORP), and other incredible metrics.
Although the primary focus is on the NBA due to the availability of data that goes back decades, the show will also cover international league and tournament.
"The NBA has the deepest collection of data available for analysis in the basketball world today. This is why Basketball in Numbers will be devoting its early focus to the NBA in an attempt to retell the stories we have always known and believed to be a reality. As time goes on, with FIBA expanding its data bank, the show will delve into global events like the Olympics, World Cup, major FIBA-affiliated leagues, and of course Nigeria’s national teams will be the focus when talking about national team basketball."
Ayotunde has always been passionate about basketball. He worked as a courtside commentator during the 2017 Season of the Kwese Premier Basketball League in Nigeria and has covered multiple NBA games in the USA. His new passion for analytics stems from the need to tell a new story using numbers.
"It is very important that Africa devotes resources to basketball analytics. We do not want to be left behind in this growing trend of perhaps endless potential at our disposal."
The show, which is the first of its kind in the continent, will be shared on Youtube and all BballNaija platforms. The first episode is expected to drop within the week.