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NBA first league to put entire statistical history online

CBSSports.com wire reports
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An NBA stats screenshot shows the league's current scoring leaders.
An NBA stats screenshot shows the league's current scoring leaders.

HOUSTON -- Sure, LeBron James has been on an amazing roll, but what about what Wilt Chamberlain did in 1962?

Now fans can study both in one place like never before.

The NBA put its entire statistical history online Friday, launching a website that allows fans to review box scores, shot charts, game logs and newer data that has changed the way players are rated.

Previously available only to teams and league personnel, and only recently to media, it's there for everyone at NBA.com/stats.

"There's no other sports website that I'm aware of that does this type of computing," said NBA executive vice president of operations and technology Steve Hellmuth.

The site features every box score for every game played since the league's original season in 1946-47. It highlights noted games such as Chamberlain's record 100-point outing in 1962, when he averaged more than 50 points for the season, and Kobe Bryant's 81-point outburst in 2006.

There are breakdowns for advanced statistics such as points per possession and in "clutch" situations, with the high marks for James, Ray Allen and Chris Bosh in the closing minutes showing why the Miami Heat are so good, along with player efficiency ratings, and even a glossary of terms for the non-stat geeks.

The league gave access to the stats to the media last spring, and it wasn't long before commissioner David Stern and deputy commissioner Adam Silver asked Hellmuth: "How come we don't have this on the website? Why isn't this in the hands of NBA fans?"

The answer was because there wasn't yet a way to develop a strong enough site to hold that combination of data and traffic.

So the league partnered in July with SAP, a business software company, with a goal of having the site up and ready by the All-Star weekend. Steve Peck, SAP's senior vice president of global strategic initiatives, said 63 percent of all business transactions are completed through their programming, and the stats site showed what his company can deliver to sports fans and teams.

"We are out there doing this kind of thing every day," Peck said. "This is a great way to not only connect to the fans ... but it's also a precursor to what we're going to do in [sports]."

The NBA plans to have all the box scores and stats updated within 15 minutes after the end of a game. Users will also be able to link from the site directly to social media accounts.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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