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1699Re: Cross Generational Simulating/Comparisons

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  • John Hollinger <alleyoop2@yahoo.com>
    Jan 26, 2003
      You're right: I can't empirically prove it. This is the problem with
      this debate, and I don't know how to solve it.

      So, while there's no way for me to empirically show that a kid who
      was six-foot-three in the eighth grade had a far less chance of being
      pushed into basketball rather than football, boxing or baseball 30-40
      years ago than he did today, I think the increase in average player
      size is a pretty good indication that it has happened. If it were
      just because of better diet/weight training, it would mimic the
      changes in say, baseball, but that hasn't happened.

      There are more subtle indications. Position evolution is a good one.
      There are multiple players from the 1970s, for instance, who began
      their careers as power forwards and ended them as shooting guards,
      Julius Erving and Jamaal Wilkes being the most obvious. The reason,
      obviously, is that everyone grew around them to the point that they
      couldn't compete as power forwards anymore; but they were good
      enought to develop other skills (jumper, ballhandling) and evolve so
      they could still be productive players.

      I used the guys from the 50s because their the most obvious,
      ridiculous example. I can't definitively tell you that Dave
      DeBusschere couldn't get by at power forward at 6-6, 230 if he played
      today; I don't think he could, but it's not as strong an argument as
      Joe Fulks, who obviously couldn't split time between power forward
      and center at 6-5, 190 if he played today, or Ed Macauley (6-8, 190).

      Asking how to prove it is a fair question, and as we've already
      discussed a damn hard one. But I have no doubt whatsoever that many,
      many players from 30, 40 and 50 years ago would either need to play a
      different position or would play their own spot less effectively.

      --- In APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com, bchaikin@a... wrote:
      > If you're saying that it should be possible to compare players from
      > eras, once some kind of adjustment is made for the differences,
      then I agree
      > with you.
      > adjustment? like what kind of adjustment? "...made for the
      > what differences? again - here is someone saying, emphatically,
      that some
      > kind of adjustment is needed (i'm assuming to the stats), and that
      there are
      > some kind of differences, but does not state what they are, for
      > reason, nor does he give any manor of clue or clues as to what he
      > means.....once again statements made not backed up by any kind of
      evidence or
      > fact...
      > If you're saying the players from the 1950s and 1960s are JUST AS
      GOOD as
      > they players today, I couldn't disagree with you more emphatically.
      > you can disagree all you want, but as this is a stats analysis
      group, lets
      > hear your reasons why...
      > Even after adjusting for the weight training, travel, improvements
      > medicine, etc., there is one huge, clear difference between
      baseball in the
      > 1950s and 1960s and basketball in the 1950s and 1960s:
      > all right, my eyes and ears are wide open now.....to hear
      this "...one huge,
      > clear difference..."...
      > Baseball, as North America's most popular sport, was already
      drawing in
      > almost all of the people in the population who were genuinely
      talented. But
      > there was never the same pull to get the best athletes into
      > because its popularity has only bloomed in the last 30 years.
      Basketball, on
      > the other hand, was not. In fact, absurdly, obviously not.
      > oh, really?......absurdly, obviously not?.........fine - then lets
      look at
      > this closely......
      > this is 2003, thirty years ago would be 1973. are you trying to
      tell me that
      > prior to 1973 (the 1950s and 1960s), the best basketball athletes
      > basketball players in the country might not have been playing
      basketball, not
      > pursuing pro basketball as a career? that pro basketball was
      not "....drawing
      > in almost all of the people in the population who were genuinely
      > like pro baseball was?....
      > let me get this straight - are you saying that people who were very
      good at
      > basketball, say, at a college level back then some 30+ odd years
      ago, were
      > pursuing careers other than pro basketball who could have been in
      the pros?
      > is this what you are saying? that this god awfully good basketball
      talent was
      > doing something other than playing pro basketball? or are you
      saying that
      > there weren't enough good players around to make the NBA
      > you're joking right?...
      > fyi - not just 30 years ago but 35-40 and more years ago there was
      so much
      > talent in terms of pro basketball players in this country, great
      > could not make it into the pros because they weren't good enough
      (meaning the
      > players in the NBA were the very best the country had to offer)
      because the
      > league had only 8 teams, and because of that great extra talent
      that not
      > only was the NBA expanding from 8 to 9 teams, then 9 to 10 teams,
      then 10 to
      > 12 teams, and then 12 to 14 teams in the span of less than a decade
      (in the
      > 1960s), but a second pro league was started up in 1967-68 with
      another 11
      > teams (you may have heard of it - it was called the ABA)....
      > so in 65-66 there were 9 pro teams and 3 years later, by 1968-69,
      there were,
      > what, 25 total pro teams between the NBA and ABA?...
      > Basketball, on the other hand, was not. In fact, absurdly,
      obviously not.
      > absurdly, obviously, not? uh...yep...i can see your point......pro
      > wasn't too popular back then...
      > (if in your eyes there were college players that were blatantly
      good enough
      > in college to be NBA pro players and possibly dominate the NBA but
      did not,
      > prior to the league expanding to more than 8 teams, that went on to
      > accountants or lawyers or whatever rather than play pro hoops, lets
      hear who
      > you think they were)...
      > George Mikan was a giant at the time,l but he was 6-10, 245. Slater
      > was 5-10. Jim Pollard was 6-5, 185 and often played power forward.
      > again, what is your point here? what does height have to do with
      it? charles
      > barkley was 6'5" and he was a power forward, no? he was pretty
      good, no?
      > muggsy bogues, spud webb, earl boykins were all smaller than
      martin, they
      > were pretty good, no? dennis rodman was 6'8" in a land of a
      multitude 7
      > footers, and he dominated the boards for some time. you ever heard
      of a
      > player named leonard "truck" robinson? he was 6'7" and 230 lbs and
      lead the
      > league in rebounding (new orleans jazz) in the late 1970s...
      > in 1968-69 (34 years ago), when the NBA was dominated by such big
      men as 7'1"
      > wilt chamberlain, 6'9" bill russell, 6'11" elvin hayes, 6'9" bob
      rule, 6'11'
      > nate thurmond, 6'10" walt bellamy, 6'9" zelmo beaty, 6'8" jerry
      lucas, most
      > of these mentioned are hall of famers, and many others, and long
      before - i
      > guess - basketball was popular enough to bring in top rated talent
      > words - cause they were looking for other jobs i guess), a scrawny
      > 6'7" rookie by the name of wes unseld came into the league and
      dominated in
      > such a way that he not only captured the league's rookie of the
      year award
      > but also the league's most valuable player award (can't remember if
      that ever
      > happened again)??...
      > so here was a league - so denuded of talent (i guess) - because its
      > popularity hadn't "...bloomed yet..." so as to pull in the best
      > available from around the country, not only expands its number of
      > (almost doubling the number of teams in less than a decade) but
      > dilutes its talent base because it was bringing in so many new
      players and
      > teams in such a short period of time, and a player 3 inches shorter
      than big
      > old lumbering george mikan dominates the league filled with the
      > mentioned super talent in such a way and to such a degree that he
      is named
      > both ROY and MVP?? and you're trying to tell me the league wasn't
      > the best talent from around the country? who you trying to kid?...
      > are you telling me that a 6'7" rookie named wes unseld, who faced
      > and russell and hayes and thurmond (all hall of famers) twice as
      often as if
      > he was a rookie of today would face o'neal and shawn bradley and
      yao ming and
      > whomever else (because there are now twice as many teams as back
      then) would
      > not be just as good in today's game? someone who beat down the
      doors of a
      > number of hall of famers?....
      > Those were the cornerstones of the BEST team of the 1950s; you
      > seriously tell me that, even with modern weight training and diet,
      those guys
      > could walk out on the floor and hang with the Kings for four
      > i couldn'be more serious.......i don't think there is any question
      that the
      > players of the 30+ years ago could play equally competitively
      against the
      > players of today, and even the players of the mid-to-late 1950s (as
      > stated all along with this cross generational debate - not early
      > especially if they had access to what the players of today have -
      they were
      > of equal talent in my opinion.....
      > is that "...in fact, absurdly obvious..."?...
      > bob chaikin
      > bchaikin@b...t
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