The Hot Hand is the story of a seductive idea that has been studied, interrogated and debated by some of the smartest people on the planet for decades.
The psychologists and economists who spent their precious time exploring the science of streaks weren't just ordinary academics. They were genius scholars and Nobel Prize winners. They devoted themselves to a provocative question about a phenomenon that is rooted in basketball, but the reason for their obsession is that the hot hand is widely applicable beyond basketball. It touches nearly every industry and shapes our daily lives.
Oh, and more thing: It's not supposed to exist.
The Hot Hand tells stories about the night that changed Stephen Curry’s life and the investor who made his billions betting against streaks. It shows how this phenomenon influenced an Iraqi sculptor’s asylum, the search for a missing World War II hero, and the mystery of a Van Gogh painting. It reveals how the plague helped Shakespeare and how Spotify made its shuffle feature less random to feel more random. And it teaches how the recognition of patterns and cultivation of streaks can be extraordinarily fruitful—and incredibly disastrous.
A brilliant investigation into when streaks exist and how to take advantage of them, The Hot Hand is essential reading for anyone who thinks they’ve got a shot.