All Hail Jess the Suns intern for one of the greatest internet videos ever. Before you watch it, take a guess at how many times per game Steve Nash high-fives Suns teammates. Yes, Jess counted:
I learned about that video from the Caltech basketball blog, where former Caltech player Yang Yang discusses recent research showing that teammates on winning teams are more likely to touch each other than players on losing teams.
Yang makes a great point:
Number of touches measured may not be a good indicator of team bonding. One point the authors missed is that regardless of bonding, better teams produce more high-five worthy plays –- that is how they win. More touches equals more good plays, so good teams -- regardless of how well they bond -- will have more opportunities for touches. I would love to see something more nuanced. I think better bonded teams will congratulate each other more for each good play. I would like to see measurements such as "high-fives per dunk" or "chest bumps per clutch defensive stop" and how they correlate with team performance.
The future is going to be an amazing place, where these kinds of stats are readily available, and where Amare Stoudemire will be proud of his certificate showing that he leads the team in patts on the butt from a two-time MVP.