Ranking the Michigan Alumni

Last week I posted a less than serious examination of the best NBA players to graduate from the University of Arizona.  The post was a response to the assertion from Gilbert Arenas that he was the best Arizona Wildcat in the Association. As occasionally happens, Henry Abbott – whose mission …

Wait! Wait! Don’t Lie to Me

The Al Franken Show (which was broadcast on Air America) would have a game show each Friday called “Wait! Wait! Don’t Lie to Me.”  Hosted by both Al Franken and Salon.com columnist Joe Conason, the game consisted of a statement being played for a caller.  The caller then had to …

Ranking Agent Zero and the Arizona Alumni

On Monday, Henry Abbott at TrueHoop discussed the rivalry between Gilbert Arenas and Richard Jefferson. This discussion linked to Agent Zero’s blog at NBA.com. In a discussion of Jason Gardner’s wedding, attended by both Arenas and Jefferson, Arenas offered the following observation: It really was a great time. Me and …

The Dream Team is Back

Okay, not really.  But the latest edition of the Dream Team is the best we have seen since 1996.  So there is hope that Team USA can take the gold medal in 2008. To see why we should be optimistic, let’s review the history of the Dream Team.The first Dream …

Evaluating the Top Scorers in 1977-78

In my career my two favorite courses to teach have been the History of Economic Thought and Economic History (which is not the same as HET). I probably would have been a historian, but I have found that as an economist I can get paid more to teach the same …

Evaluating Talent and the Assessment of Legal Issues

On Friday Andray Blatche was re-signed by the Washington Wizards.  Given that Blatche has only played 860 minutes in his entire NBA career, such a signing seemed hardly newsworthy.  And it probably would not have been had Blatche not recently had some legal issues. The Associated Press article detailing Blatche’s …

The Worst of the Best

We often debate who is the best?  Occasionally we talk about the worst.  But what about the worst of the best? Back in 1973 the NBA began tracking all the statistics for teams that are reported in a typical box score (statistics for players would not be fully reported until …

Miami Parties Like Its 1999

The Pareto Principle tells us that 80% of output is created by 20% of the population. Although I am not sure how widely this principle applies, it certainly appears to work in the NBA. The top 20% of players in Wins Produced do create about 80% of the league’s wins. …