By Jimmy Carlton Sportswriter Published May 31, 2016 at 5:01 PM

More than six weeks after Milwaukee’s disappointing season ended with a 33-49 record, and immediately following the Warriors beating the Thunder in a thrilling Western Conference Finals Game 7, the news that the Bucks had – earlier this month, apparently – hired a stat-head basketball blogger to consult in their expanding analytics department was made quietly, posted Tuesday as "An announcement of sorts" on the very blog whence the hire came.

Despite the modesty of the proclamation and the larger league news surrounding it, the move was immediately applauded by some of the most respected voices in the NBA, making it a very intriguing development indeed for the team. So let’s talk about it.

First, the nuts and bolts. Since last July, Seth Partnow has been the managing editor of Nylon Calculus, an analytics website in the Hardwood Paroxysm Basketball Network that’s widely considered one of the most innovative, explorational and accessible outlets for hoops metrics. A native and resident of Anchorage, Alaska, Partnow’s bio on the site states that he "hates the outdoors and the cold."

Welcome south to beautiful Milwaukee!

With a large staff of writers from many different backgrounds and an emphasis on curiosity and transparency, Partnow helped Nylon Calculus devise and develop several new statistics covering things like defensive rim protection, individual playmaking ability and more. He also led the charge on improving deeper use of SportVU, which utilizes a six-camera system that's installed in arenas to track the real-time positions of players and the ball 25 times per second. That data has helped produce myriad groundbreaking stats measuring speed, distance, player separation and ball possession.

Since new owners Wesley Edens and Marc Lasry came on board two years ago, the Bucks have embraced advanced metrics and allotted additional resources to the department. In 2014, Milwaukee took the camera-based tracking technology and data collection a step further, partnering with Vantage Sports Inc. and its next-generation analytics and video system for evaluating player performance. Later that year, the team hired a facial coding expert to read players’ faces and identify traits that could possibly help it gain an edge.

Over the weekend, multiple outlets reported the Bucks were hiring Justin Zanik, an assistant general manager with the Jazz, for the same position in Milwaukee and to be the eventual successor to GM John Hammond. Zanik, who graduated from Northwestern University with an economics degree in 1998, is considered a cerebral, fast-rising executive who can help the Bucks exploit new trends and (perhaps sooner than later) lead them into the league's upper echelon.

Prior to the 2015-16 season, among other estimations in its Bucks preview, Nylon Calculus predicted the team would miss departed veterans Zaza Pachulia and Jared Dudley (two unheralded stars of the real-plus/minus statistic) more than people expected, that backup center Miles Plumlee would be a good fit with his athletic teammates and point guard Michael Carter-Williams would struggle while Giannis Antetokounmpo became more of a ball-handler. Not many people were saying that before last year; a lot of it now looks prophetic.

According to his post Tuesday, Nylon Calculus is not going away and nor is Partnow leaving the site; he said he is staying on as an editor for now, though he will no longer discuss, specifically, anything to do with the Bucks for reasons of competitive advantage. 

He said joining the organization as a consultant was "very happy news" and specifically gave "a hearty thanks" for the opportunity to Mike Clutterbuck, Milwaukee’s director of analytics since 2013.

"I’d say this was a dream job," he wrote, "but that would imply that I had considered such a thing possible when I started doing this as a hobby a few years back."

Meanwhile, NBA Twitter immediately overflowed with commendations and congratulations for Partnow. Here’s what some league luminaries had to say – glowingly – about his hiring by the Bucks:

A little later on Tuesday, Partnow posted this adorable picture of his daughter wearing a Milwaukee Bucks t-shirt, which pretty much makes it official:

Born in Milwaukee but a product of Shorewood High School (go ‘Hounds!) and Northwestern University (go ‘Cats!), Jimmy never knew the schoolboy bliss of cheering for a winning football, basketball or baseball team. So he ditched being a fan in order to cover sports professionally - occasionally objectively, always passionately. He's lived in Chicago, New York and Dallas, but now resides again in his beloved Brew City and is an ardent attacker of the notorious Milwaukee Inferiority Complex.

After interning at print publications like Birds and Blooms (official motto: "America's #1 backyard birding and gardening magazine!"), Sports Illustrated (unofficial motto: "Subscribe and save up to 90% off the cover price!") and The Dallas Morning News (a newspaper!), Jimmy worked for web outlets like, where he was a Packers beat reporter, and FOX Sports Wisconsin, where he managed digital content. He's a proponent and frequent user of em dashes, parenthetical asides, descriptive appositives and, really, anything that makes his sentences longer and more needlessly complex.

Jimmy appreciates references to late '90s Brewers and Bucks players and is the curator of the unofficial John Jaha Hall of Fame. He also enjoys running, biking and soccer, but isn't too annoying about them. He writes about sports - both mainstream and unconventional - and non-sports, including history, music, food, art and even golf (just kidding!), and welcomes reader suggestions for off-the-beaten-path story ideas.