Rebekka Takamizu and Melissa Roadman
Open Infographic

How much diversity of skills do you want on your team? That’s the question the Kellogg School’s Ned Smith and coauthor Yuan Hou sought to answer when analyzing NBA data. They looked specifically at the diversity of college conferences from which players came as a proxy for playing style.

Smith, an associate professor of management and organizations, found that teams that had a large diversity of playing styles among their top-tier players and also had the same diverse composition of styles among their bench players won more games. (They defined top-tier players as those who played more than 1,800 minutes a season, or about 22 minutes a game.)

This infographic uses NBA data from 1986-2008, excluding the 1998 season that was cut short by a strike. For readers who know your NBA history, note that the team listed as the New Orleans Hornets (now the Pelicans) includes data from when the team was in Charlotte.

You can read the full Insight article on Smith’s research here.