Here is the Wikipedia article for John Hollinger's player efficiency rating (PER) statistic, which is commonly used as an "all-in-one" for (mostly offensive) performance in basketball. I would like to know how Hollinger cooked this formula up. I would guess it was based on some kind of historical regression, but I haven't been able to find out exactly (or even vaguely) what it is anywhere on the internet.

1 Answer 1


Yes it came from a sort of regression on statistics that are most important in "winning" a basketball game historically. He used the coefficients for certain counting stats (rebounds, assists, etc.) as the weights on these terms -- roughly. He also adjusted for things like minutes, pace, and the rest of the league.

One of the arguments against Hollinger's PER and some other ESPN stats are that there is not complete transparency in the origin of the statistic. Thus, something like adjusted real plus/minus is a great statistic but without a complete knowledge of how it is constructed it is difficult for us to truly value.

  • Alexander, welcome to the site. I removed a bit of chatter from the answer as this Q&A site isn't like other forums you may be familiar with; answers should answer the question but not invite further discussion. Thanks for the good answer! If you have any citations for the answer (experts describing this, or in particular anything that actually broke down the PER inputs) that would make it even better!
    – Joe
    Commented Jun 9, 2016 at 19:43

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