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The Phoenix Suns, or Kentucky West as some members of the BBN have started to refer to them, are giving their statisticians a little bit of extra work this season on top of compiling the usual points, assists, rebounds, shooting percentage and the like. This year, according to Suns' Head Coach Earl Watson, they're keeping track of high-fives too.
We have a high-five stat,” Head Coach Earl Watson said following the 91-86 victory. “I’m being honest with you. This is true. So we want to keep track of how many high-fives we get per game to each other.
In an article by Cody Cunningham on NBA.com, Watson is noted for his style and "philosophy of preaching trust, family and selflessness to his team."
Apparently, there's actually some proof to back up this idea. Cunningham references a Psychology professor at UC Berkeley, Dacher Keltner, who studied one game from each NBA team in the 2015 season.
Controlling for how much money they’re making, the expectations that they would do well during that season, how well they we’re doing in that game,” Keltner said. “Not only did they win more games but there’s really nice basketball statistics of how selfless the play is.
to view the entire article by Cunningham on NBA.com.
I seem to remember Coach Cal preaching something eerily similar to this back in the 2013-14 season when the freshman class of Julius Randle, James Young, the Harrison twins and Dakari Johnson were really struggling in SEC play. He kept bringing up in press conferences that he was telling the team to huddle up more and always be touching each other, high fiving each other and talking to each other. Maybe Coach Cal was on to something a few years back.