Bayesian hierarchical parametric survival analysis for NBA career longevity



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In evaluating a prospective NBA player, one might consider past performance in the player’s previous years of competition. In doing so, a general manager may ask the following questions: Do certain characteristics of a player’s past statistics play a role in how long a player will last in the NBA? In this study, we examine the data from players who entered in the NBA in a five-­‐year period (1997-­‐1998 through 2001-­‐2002 season) by looking at their attributes from their collegiate career to see if they have any effect on their career longevity. We will look at basic statistics take for each of these players, such as field goal percentage, points per game, rebounds per game and assists per game. We aim to use Bayesian survival methods to model these event times, while exploiting the hierarchical nature of the data. We will look at two types of models and perform model diagnostics to determine which of the two we prefer.