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October 2006

The Phoenix Suns in 2005-06

  In 2003-04 the Phoenix Suns won 29 games. In the summer of 2004 the Suns signed free agent point guard Steve Nash. With Nash on board the Suns improved to 62 wins in 2004-05, one of the biggest leaps made by an NBA team in the history of the …

The Blind Side

A few weeks ago Malcolm Gladwell posted a review of The Blind Side, the latest book by Michael Lewis. Lewis has written several wonderful books, but is perhaps most famous – at least among sports economists — for Moneyball, the story of the improbable success of the Oakland A’s. The …

The New Orleans Hornets in 2005-06

In 2004-05 the Hornets won 18 games. Last year, playing most of its home games in Oklahoma City, the Hornets won 38 contests. How did this team improve 20 games in the standings? Although one does not want to discount the value of enthusiastic fans in Oklahoma, the primary factor …

Week Six Quarterback Rankings

From almost worst to first. And from almost first to worst. Those are the storylines from Week Six. After Week Five, Ben Roethlisberger had the second lowest QB Score per play in the league. He was one of only two quarterbacks to be below average in every game he played …

The Minnesota Timberwolves in 2005-06

The Tragedy of Kevin Garnett is the most popular post in the history of The Wages of Wins Journal. Okay, this blog has only existed for six months, so it is not like we are talking about a lengthy history. And this post is only the most popular because Malcolm …

The Market Size Myth

Baseball’s Blue Ribbon Panel, after examining five years of data from 1995 through 1999, argued that Major League Baseball teams located in smaller markets were unable to compete in baseball. Consequently the panel concluded baseball had a competitive balance problem that could only be rectified by redistributing baseball’s resources from …

The Memphis Grizzlies in 2005-06

One curious feature of professional sports is the practice of a team changing cities but not changing its name. For example, one does not often think of Utah and Jazz, but the name made sense when the team was in New Orleans. The same story holds for the Lakers and …

The LA Lakers in 2005-06

Chapter Six of The Wages of Wins is called “Shaq and Kobe.” The purpose of this chapter was to introduce Wins Produced, and the story of Shaq and Kobe was used to explain this metric. The story is quite familiar to NBA fans. In 1996 these two stars came to …

Alex Rodriguez is Underpaid

Last Sunday this statement appeared in an article by Patrick Dorsey in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. The article, entitled “Determining the worth of an athlete involves many factors”, reviewed the work of several economists who have examined the value of athletes in baseball, basketball, football, and hockey. The analysis of …

The LA Clippers in 2005-06

The Clippers last year won 47 games. Eight teams bested this mark, so although the Clippers had a good season, at first glance it does not appear to be historic. Yet historic is the only word that can describe the Clippers year. Clipper fans have never – and I mean …