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1750Re: Talent

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  • Mike G <msg_53@hotmail.com>
    Feb 4, 2003
      --- In APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com, "schtevie2003 <schtevie@h...>"
      <schtevie@h...> wrote:
      >... Regarding the overall talent pool: Here the series has a lot to
      > say, and the tentative conclusion that league expansion has
      > roughly correlated with expansion in the talent pool accords with
      > my prior beliefs.

      The correlation is very rough. The minutes data suggest we are just
      now getting back to the competitive level that existed in 1966,
      before the ABA expansion era.

      > All this said, the series you provide does not suggest that "the
      > league may be equally competitive in 1955 and in 2003". Of
      > course it does when you add the proviso that we drop all
      > "peripheral era-dependent artifacts be dropped from
      > consideration", but that is just defining the problem away. To my
      > mind, those things aren't peripheral; they are central. The
      > interesting stuff is the history of the game itself, how it
      > how it improved, how rules may have been changed to
      > compensate for perceived advantage by the offense or the
      > defense, how the physical form of the athlete and his regimens
      > changed, how the available talent pool changed.

      It's tempting to say all change is for the good. No one changes
      rules in order to make the game worse.

      What I was suggesting is that while we can say athletes are in better
      physical shape these days, the oldtimers should get 'credit' for what
      conditions they had to overcome, as modern players get credit for
      their workout regimens, etc.

      You could plop a physical specimen like Karl Malone into 1955, and
      then what? Let him take his nice shoes, his personal trainer,
      dieticians -- heck, a private jet. Then what?

      You would see a culture clash that would be fodder for a
      backtothefuture comedy, I guess. Nothing predictable. He might
      dominate Bob Pettit and Dolph Schayes; or the refs might not buy his
      flops, and his elbows might earn real retaliation instead of a 1-game

      He might run out of healthy food, get tired of being refused lodging,
      be abused by fans and possibly shunned by his teammates. These are
      only fantasy scenarios. 'Better' doesn't really exist.

      I can do more calculations and have knowledge that Leonardo da Vinci
      didn't have. Does that make me a better thinker?

      A champion race car driver from 1920 who never passed 120 mph should
      get credit for dominating his milieu, regardless of whether his
      machine can outrun one from 2003.

      > By your specification, we would be left with no dynamic
      > questions at all, as we all know that at any given time (with some
      > minor caveats) we know that the best players available and
      > willing to play were in the NBA.

      That's debatable, too. The NBA is much more alluring these days. At
      some point in the past, guys had to choose between the fun NBA, or
      the better-paying factory job.
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