ABC News’ Paula Faris and Eric Noll report:
No one knew who would win last year’s NBA finals between the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs — the Heat were the victors, by the way — except maybe Justin Zormelo.
“I used to, as a kid, watch basketball all the time,” said Zormelo, 30, of Miami. “And I’d say the same things the commentators were saying and my mom would be like, ‘What’s wrong with you? How do you know this at 13, 14?’”
Zormelo, who said he used to study the backs of basketball cards, has been the secret weapon behind basketball’s biggest stars such as Shaquille O’Neal, Dwyane Wade and this year’s MVP, Kevin Durant.
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The founder of Best Ball Analytics, Zormelo combines thousands of hours of footage in his home and uses a combination of a secret formula and data analytics to create color-coded charts for his players.
“A couple of years ago, I got a vision that I could possibly change the way basketball is played and thought of and from there I just started to write things down,” said Zormelo, a self-described math nerd.
Durant said Zormelo knew his game inside and out.
“[He] knows my spots better than my own spots,” Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder said in a Best Ball Analytics promotional video.
Just like Brad Pitt assembled an all-star baseball team in the movie “Moneyball,” Zormelo, a Georgetown graduate, analyzes his clients’ plays down to the tiniest detail, from court position to posture.
“I look at the history,” he said. “[I] study as much film as I can.”
The goal: to hopefully give his clients that extra edge.
“They love it,” Zormelo said of the players’ reactions to his charts and graphs. “The best part of my job is to hear them say, ‘Thank you.’”