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John Hollinger, a fixture of's coverage of the NBA for the past seven seasons and one of the leaders in basketball's rising statistical analysis movement over the past decade, is leaving his role as a columnist to join the front office of the Memphis Grizzlies.

Best known for hatching the formula behind every player's Player Efficiency Ranking (PER) -- which attempts to quantify player performance through the use of an all-in-one rating -- Hollinger will begin work as a senior executive in the Grizzlies' basketball department next week.

"It's incredibly difficult to leave ESPN, but the chance to work for an NBA team and the Grizzlies' new ownership was an irresistible opportunity," Hollinger said Thursday.

Hollinger was recruited to the Grizzlies by new controlling owner Robert Pera and CEO/managing partner Jason Levien, who have made upgrading Memphis' analytics department one of their front-office priorities.

The Grizzlies on Thursday declined comment.

Hollinger, 41, founded the website "Alleyoop" in 1996 to launch his online career as a basketball sabermetrician and authored a series of books originally known as the "Pro Basketball Prospectus" and later titled "Pro Basketball Forecast."

He went on to work for The Oregonian newspaper's online site ( and served as the NBA editor of Sports Illustrated's online site ( before joining in February 2005.
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