DSTATS (sometimes referred to as Development Stats) refers to fields in players.dbf that were utilised from NBA Live 98 up until NBA Live 2003. The name is derived from the labels assigned to statistics fields in the database (such as DFGATT, DFGMAD, DBLOCKS etc) which determine simulated player statistics in Season, Playoffs and Dynasty Mode.
The practical use of DSTATS was to ensure players averaged true to life statistics in simulation and for CPU controlled teams. As a field in players.dbf, users could modify DSTATS data to alter a player's simulated performance accordingly. However, problems arose as players aged and their ratings declined. Because the DSTATS were still used as a base, star players would often continue to average numbers reminiscent of their prime despite having declined noticeably, so long as they remained in the starting lineup. Thus, although DSTATS would generally ensure realistic performance for a few seasons they would ultimately prove too rigid and unsuitable for lengthy Franchise games.
Beginning with NBA Live 2004 and the introduction of Dynasty Mode, DSTATS were abandoned with simulated stats controlled by player ratings. This method has also been criticised as the results are not always accurate.