Sacramento Kings: Roland Beech Hired as VP of Analytics


Vlade Divac and the Sacramento Kings are “strongly opposed to analytics”. That must be the case since they fired analytics guru, Dean Oliver, right?

Over analyzed by many media outlets, the firing of Dean Oliver, who had a long working relationship with former Kings GM, Pete D’Alessandro, was not the team’s declaration of their dislike of analytics but just another example of a new team President dismissing individuals from the previous regime and hiring his own team. The question remains…was Dean Oliver irreplaceable?

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Vlade Divac proved the answer to that question is definitely no, as evidenced by his hiring of Roland Beech on Saturday afternoon. After all the ruckus about Divac dismantling the analytics department, it’s clear that no such thing has happened. Instead, Vlade just got somebody he liked better and thus would work better with to fill the role of head of analytics. Synergy is important, and this move should help all the moving parts in Sacramento’s brain trust work together smoothly.

Roland Beech is equally as legendary in the NBA analytics field as Dean Oliver, the biggest difference being that the Oliver’s analysis focused on a player’s individual performance whereas Beech’s analysis focused on a player’s impact on the team’s performance. Beech’s website,, went online in 2003 and has produced some of the most well-respected statistical analysis to come from the growing pool of basketball research metrics.

Beech was the first to look at a team’s production when a player is on the court as opposed to when that player is off the court and point to that, so long as the sample is large enough, as an indication of a players value. He was hired by the Dallas Mavericks in the 2005/06 season and moved up the ranks from consultant to assistant coach during his time there.  He also has contributed his analysis to both and

So clearly this isn’t some inexperienced hire (although that did work out with Vlade himself). The man knows very well what he’s doing, and his team approach to the game meshes much better with Vlade Divac’s philosophy than a player-first perspective anyway.

Roland Beech’s team-oriented analysis a far more applicable to today’s NBA than Dean Oliver’s player-oriented analysis. The hiring makes a lot of sense for a George Karl team as well and should prove to be another positive move made by Vlade Divac this offseason.

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