NBA - Friday, September 4, 2009 11:24 - 7 Comments

The NBA…Where Fudging Happens


wherefudgingThe NBA is notorious for cheating refs, superstar calls, giving home teams a massive unfair advantage, and players on drugs. Today we add another chapter to the David Stern’s masterpiece (rivals a 1st grader’s finger painting), number fudging stat keepers.

“I went into the NBA as bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as I could get,” Alex says. “I loved the game. I didn’t want to taint it.” This was before Alex had the power to change NBA records.

A while back, we brought you the story of a stat-padding NBA scorekeeper who, in 1997, attributed 23 assists to Lakers guard Nick Van Exel, just for the hell of it. That was Alex. (He is now an officer in the Navy and asks that I not use his last name.) From 1995 to 1998, he managed the Vancouver Grizzlies’ stat crew. Alex is a numbers guy, and he came at the job from the perspective of someone who spent his childhood, as he says, “recreating baseball games with

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Dungeons and Dragons dice and baseball cards.” So it was particularly galling for him to find that the seemingly cold and objective NBA box score was, on many nights, a self-serving fiction, subject to so much artful embroidery and deliberate manipulation that one might reasonably conclude that the boys from Enron were sitting courtside, counting dimes.

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Fantasy, NBA - Jun 9, 2009 1:10 - 34 Comments

Not So PERfect

mauer with power“At shooting guard, 6′6″ out of Lower Merion High School, Kobe Bryant!” When you hear that introduction, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? That 81 point game against the Toronto Raptors? The impossible shot he hit against the Portland Trailblazers? The fact that he’s about to win his 4th NBA Championship? Or if you’re

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not a fan, how he helped run Shaq out of town and how he threw the entire team under the bus after the 2006-2007 season? Well, whatever you think about him, one thing fans rarely question is that Kobe Bryant is the best player in the NBA. Or is he?

Just as was true for baseball until a short time ago, it has always been difficult to accurately measure a basketball player’s true performance on the court. In baseball, a man named Bill James revolutionized the way fans looked at a player’s true effectiveness through sabermetrics. And now, a man named John Hollinger has done the same thing for basketball, forever changing how fans will view the game’s traditional statistics. Combining these traditional statistics, which you see in every box score, with underlying statistics that aren’t as highly publicized, Hollinger discovered his groundbreaking statistic, which he dubbed “PER” – Player Efficiency Rating. This is how Hollinger described his new system:

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NBA - Sep 4, 2009 11:24 - 7 Comments

The NBA…Where Fudging Happens

wherefudgingThe NBA is notorious for cheating refs, superstar calls, giving home teams a massive unfair advantage, and players on drugs. Today we add another chapter to the David Stern’s masterpiece (rivals a 1st grader’s finger painting), number fudging stat keepers.

“I went into the NBA as bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as I could get,” Alex says. “I loved the game. I didn’t want to taint it.” This was before Alex had the power to change NBA records.

A while back, we brought you the story of a stat-padding NBA scorekeeper who, in 1997, attributed 23 assists to Lakers guard Nick Van Exel, just for the hell of it. That was Alex. (He is now an officer in the Navy and asks that I not use his last name.) From 1995 to 1998, he managed the Vancouver Grizzlies’ stat crew. Alex is a numbers guy, and he came at the job from the perspective of someone who spent his childhood, as he says, “recreating baseball games with

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Dungeons and Dragons dice and baseball cards.” So it was particularly galling for him to find that the seemingly cold and objective NBA box score was, on many nights, a self-serving fiction, subject to so much artful embroidery and deliberate manipulation that one might reasonably conclude that the boys from Enron were sitting courtside, counting dimes.

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Olympics, Other - Aug 22, 2009 17:58 - 51 Comments

Usain Bolt – Fastest Man Ever

Usain BoltRecently, Usain Bolt shocked the World Championships when he won gold with a jaw dropping time of 9.58 seconds in the 100 meter sprint. Erasing a ridiculous 0.11 seconds off of the previous world record he set in Beijing last year.

Statisticians had predicted that no athlete would run faster than Bolt’s 9.69 time until 2030. The scary part is, Bolt believes he can eventually run the 100 meter sprint in 9.4 seconds. Clearly Usain Bolt is of another planet. Let’s be honest, this man isn’t human. At the ripe age of 22 he has already compiled an impressive resume. Let’s check it out.

1986: Born August 21 in Trelawny, Jamaica.

2002: At the age of 15, Bolt wins gold in the 200m and silver in both the 4×100m and 4×400m relays at the 2002 World Junior Championships in Kingston

2003: Wins gold in the 200m at World Youth Championships in Sherbrooke.

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