Once upon a time, I wrote virtually every story at The Wages of Wins Journal (Editor’s note: Dave currently has 1484 posts attributed to him. That’s over a thousand more than the next closest author). During the NBA season, many of these tales began with the Wins Produced numbers of a particular NBA team. Since apparently I was the only one who fully understood how to calculate Wins Produced (although I thought the steps were clearly explained in The Wages of Wins), I was the only person who could write these stories.
And then along came Patrick Minton. Once Patrick put together theNBAGeek.com – which reports every player’s Wins Produced throughout the season – no one had to wait for me to report on their favorite team. If you wanted to know the productivity of a specific player, all you had to do was look at Patrick’s website.
For example, want to know what LeBron James has produced this season? The NBA Geek tells us it is 19.1 Wins Produced. Don’t believe LeBron has played mostly power forward this season? In the past you were stuck with my position assignments. But now, The NBA Geek tells us that LeBron produced 22.7 wins if he is a small forward.
With such a brilliant website, who needs me? Well, one group that still seemed to need me (at least, once in a while) was journalists.
For example, Tom Van Riper – of Forbes.com – wrote this story about overpaid players in the NBA in 2010. And about a month later, Tom wrote a story about underpaid NBA players. And then in 2012, Dan Bukzpan of CNBC.com also wrote an article about overpaid NBA players.
Each of these stories began with these reporters asking me to do some analysis. So I had a sense that I was somewhat useful.
Last Friday, though, Tom Van Riper demonstrated that I wasn’t even needed for this kind of analysis. Tom wrote a story – with help from theNBAgeek.com (but no help from me) – detailing the most overpaid players in the NBA this season. The list – which you can see in its entirety at Yahoo.com (in other words, Yahoo skips the slide show) – has generated a bit of discussion.
- Both Alan Raskin of the Star Ledger (Newark, New Jersey) and Mark DeCambre of the New York Post commented on Carmelo Anthony appearing on the list. Gabe Zaldivar at the Bleacher Report also focused on Melo’s appearance.
- Dirk Nowitzki’s appearance on the list led to a comment in the Dallas Morning News. The Dallas Morning News also commented on Chris Kaman’s name on the list. By the way, you might recall that we criticized the signing of Kaman before the season started. And Mark Cuban – Kaman’s boss – objected to our analysis (see the comments on Ari Caroline’s post linked to above). Well, now that the season is over, it appears we might have been on to something.
- Stephen Jackson was asked to respond to his appearance on the ranking. At SI.com, Jackson is quoted as follows: “I’ve been underpaid my whole career,” he said, smiling. “You do the math. It’s adding up. Who cares? Whether they think that or not, I’m still getting paid almost $10 million this year.”
There is a video of Jackson’s reaction at NBA.com. Unfortunately for Jackson, there is also data on Jackson’s career at theNBAGeek.com. And that data suggests that Jackson was not often underpaid. Back in 2002-03, Jackson was paid about $700,000 and he produced 5.4 wins. But beyond that season, it looks like Jackson has generally been overpaid throughout his career.
And this is not surprising. Jackson has generally been an inefficient scorer. Such players tend to be overpaid in the NBA. At least, once upon a time I did some analysis that told that story.
It is nice to see other people now telling the same story — although it would be nice if I had more to do :)