A misunderstood basketball statistic gets some love

My whole life, I’ve been reading basketball box scores and wondering what a “Team Rebound” is. I could decipher all the other abbreviations, like . This week, thanks to the constantly-updating NBA.com scoreboards, my question has finally been answered. For completely accurate scorekeeping, every missed shot must have an accompanying rebound. So, any shot which does not go into the basket or another player’s hands, whether it is a buzzer-beater, a ball that bounces out of bounds, or the front end of two free throws, becomes a team rebound for the team who gets the ball next. For example, if I take a shot, and it bounces off the rim and over the backboard, the other team gets the ball and receives credit for a team rebound. The stat itself is trivial: it’s not an accomplishment at all! You get a team rebound -because- you didn’t do anything! Without it, however, statisticians would go crazy at the end of games wondering if they’d correctly tracked every shot, if they’d missed anything. “Are you SURE that two of Reggie’s shots went out of bounds? What if we forgot something?”

Team Rebound, the big stats like Points and Assists might kick you around or worse, pity you for your apparent uselessness, but you can have a sandwich with me any time. You keep all the numbers balanced so the mathematicians won’t lose their minds. Thanks to you, everything that happens can be recounted. You’re one of the blue-collar guys who doesn’t get on TV but who makes the world go. God bless you.

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