Advanced analytics in professional basketball depends heavily on digital technologies for acquiring and processing data and for representing and disseminating performance evaluation. These digital technologies have transformed the tactics, techniques, and styles of play in the sport in little over five years. They have also transformed the tools, methods, and contents of historical thinking—whether scholarly or popular—about the sport’s development and the relationship between contemporary trends and its past. This paper historicizes, contextualizes, and critically engages this shift toward quantitative thinking in basketball culture by emphasizing dimensions of the sport and ways of approaching it, such as the social, political, and aesthetic, that the contemporary fascination with counting tends to marginalize.


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