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Re: SABR/Sports Econ update

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  • Dean Oliver
    ... OK. This is what I generally think, too. Managing the middle players is where it s at. But people do see the rebounding totals of these guys and they
    Message 1 of 52 , Jul 31, 2003
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      --- In APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com, "schtevie2003" <schtevie@h...>
      > .
      > .
      > From my perspective, the types of increased competitive advantage I
      > am anticipating do not necessarily relate to making the big hit,
      > uncovering that diamond in the rough. Rather, it is recognizing a
      > true, apparently minor improvement in an "undramatic" statistical
      > category (where the herd knows not its true value) akin to OBP in
      > baseball. So, yes, you want to predict a Rodman but you are more
      > interested in consistently getting, say, the Tony Batties or Walter
      > McCartys of the world for short money (and I am not certain that
      > these are the right examples, I am just currently Boston-centric in
      > my imagination).

      OK. This is what I generally think, too. Managing the middle
      players is where it's at. But people do see the rebounding totals of
      these guys and they don't change much -- what varies is how people
      perceive the rest of their games. So predicting rebounding ain't
      gonna help get them time (which was, I think, the original question).

      > > > Will any NBA team do this?
      > >
      > > Yes. And the first time it's done will launch 28 other times.
      > Err,
      > > 27. The Clippers don't care.
      > .
      > .
      > .
      > You have greater faith in the responsiveness of teams
      > .

      How many other baseball teams now use sabermetrics? A bunch. I
      would guess 5. OK, that's a few, not a bunch, but it's growing
      because of Moneyball.

      > .
      > .
      > .
      > It seems to me that Bean is the $300,000 guy I referred to, and he
      > only got in, I suppose, because he entered the traditional way, ex-
      > player tapped for management track, blah, blah.
      > .

      I think he's a bit more than $300K, but he did get in the traditional
      way. I definitely tout my traditional quals when I talk to teams,
      too. It just helps to talk the language.

      > .
      > Boy, I am reluctant to possibly reintroduce the unpleasantries of
      > that winter string, but to sum up my understanding of the empirical
      > history of the NBA from looking at league averages, from the mid-
      > to mid-80s, game pace plummeted and offensive productivity
      > though not as dramatically (around 11% if I recall, but this is
      > huge.) This slowing game pace was essentially a free lunch,
      > was imposed on offenses with turnovers decreasing and shooting
      > percentages ring (with offenses eliminating bad passes and bad shot
      > selection). So, yes, if the analysis bears out (and my hunch is it
      > will) the decrease in pace was an inherently beneficial thing that
      > should have been recognized earlier for most teams, especially
      > the size of the counterfactual benefit. (Thus, apparently there is
      > misunderstanding above, going slow is typically a competitive
      > disadvantage. Though more to the point, going stupid is the real
      > competitive disadvantage. Returning to the case in point, my
      > tentative hypothesis as to why the game pace stayed up as long as
      > did was that the league was imitating the Celtics, when in fact
      > offense was rather mediocre, and it was their defense which won
      > championships.)

      I vaguely remembered this. But, as you say, pace decrease may be an
      effect, not a cause, "going stupid is the competitive disadvantage."
      Turnovers have been reduced a lot and that is reflected in pace. I
      do think you're right with the Celtics' dynasty dictating pace, too.
      And I think it was a case of teams seeing the symptom and not the

      In general, as I document in the book, when you look carefully, you
      do see a tendency for better offensive teams to actually be slightly
      quicker teams (faster paced). You have to look pretty carefully,

    • igor eduardo küpfer
      ... From: Gary Collard To: APBR_analysis@yahoogroups.com Sent: Thursday, August 07, 2003 12:13 PM Subject: Re: [APBR_analysis] SABR/Sports Econ update ... That
      Message 52 of 52 , Aug 8, 2003
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        ----- Original Message -----
        Sent: Thursday, August 07, 2003 12:13 PM
        Subject: Re: [APBR_analysis] SABR/Sports Econ update

        Jim Armstrong wrote:
        > On Mon, Aug 04, 2003 at 04:00:38PM -0500, Gary Collard wrote:
        > > I'm not sure why that was so controversial.  The concept of market size in
        > > the NFL is pretty much meaningless, since most league revenue is shared
        > > equally.  The reason that a Yankees in baseball have such an advantage is
        > > that they have local TV revenues that are an order of magnitude or more
        > > greater than most (all?) of the other teams and is significant compared to
        > > national revenue, thus they can afford to have a payroll that is 60%
        > > greater than any other team even before they pay the luxury tax as they do
        > > in 2003.  In the NFL, there is no local TV at all, and (over a period of
        > > years, letting spikes in bonus payments wash out) little payroll deviation,
        > Actually, if you look at the distribution of team player payrolls, the NFL
        > and the NBA are quite comparable (see standard deviation in data below).

        That is why I specifically said "over a period of years, letting spikes in
        bonus payments wash out" in the case of the NFL.  The one year payroll
        numbers you listed are meaningless to my point, do you have the data to run
        them for the last 5 years or more?  That will tell you who has the "harder"

        Gary Collard
        Maybe the coefficient of variation (SD / Mean * 100) is a more apt measure for comparing the variation of payrolls for different sports across seasons.
        Year     NHL     NFL     NBA     MLB
        1994    28.3     8.7    15.2    26.6
        1995    26.6    12.7    24.1    27.7
        1996    43.3    11.9    21.9    31.4
        1997    #N/A    15.3    28.9    33.0
        1998    #N/A    12.1    27.0    37.4
        1999    33.4    12.0    23.0    43.1
        2000    37.4    13.8    23.6    38.3
        2001    31.1    13.5    24.6    38.3
        2002    33.0    18.1    20.6    36.6
        2003    35.9    #N/A    24.0    38.9
        On this measure, NBA teams show less variation in payroll than baseball and hockey teams, but the NFL teams are more level than any of them.

        Data from Rodney Fort's excellent resource: http://users.pullman.com/rodfort/SportsBusiness/BizFrame.htm
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