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2335Re: SABR/Sports Econ update

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  • Dean Oliver
    Jul 30 4:12 PM
      --- In APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com, "Michael Tamada" <tamada@o...>

      lots of good stuff...

      > But, it'll be hard. There's not just the quality-of-competition
      > but the context issues that we constantly mention on this list:
      > roles on a team, coaches' strategic decisions, teammates' abilities
      > roles. I doubt that any purely stat-based formula could have
      > that Michael Jordan would become the NBA superstar that he did --
      > he came from a good college program which played tough competition,
      > but there's dozens of players every year who come out of similar
      > programs with similar stats. When NBA scouts saw future stardom for
      > Jordan, they were looking at things like his fundamentals (as DeanO
      > mentioned with James) and his physical gifts -- his explosiveness
      > vertical. In other words, to use the baseball term, his "tools".
      > marked Jordan apart from other college players was the very thing
      > Beane in _Moneyball_ derides: looking beyond a players stats, at
      > tools.

      MJ is a very interesting example actually. I did calculate his
      college stats a long time ago (1991, I think) and they were VERY
      good. But centers definitely occasionally have numbers as good,
      implying that other big men dominate the college game as much as MJ
      did (though not as much now with the 3pt line and defensive
      emphasis). But MJ was not a center. I don't know how important that
      is, but I keep it in mind as I continue this work.

      I did recently catch an old UNC game on TV when MJ played. It was
      remarkable to look back on him and definitely see the same Michael
      that dominated the pros. The components were definitely there.
      Replace the face and you'd recognize the body and the moves. Most
      dominant player you'll ever see on the baseline even with Coach Smith
      reigning his shots in. And, on the defensive end, he played all over
      the court in this YouAreTheDefense position out of a zone or man.
      Smith was always the expert at adapting to his players. And he
      certainly adjusted for MJ.

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