I spent an hour with sports economist Dr. David Berri discussing the NFL lockout, NFL draft, NBA playoffs and the future of online sports journalism.
You can listen to the podcast right here or three other ways:
- Dr. Berri began the podcast with his thoughts on Roger Goodell’s op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, capitalism and the NFL lockout.
- The conversation moved from the NFL lockout to the NFL draft. ESPN Magazine’s NFL Draft Preview issue used pro-football-reference.com’s Approximate Value model to identify the career value of every player that was on an NFL roster last season. They reported Peyton Manning was the most valuable 1st round pick in the NFL and Brett Favre, a 2nd round pick, had been more valuable than every player in the league. Despite a good career, however, Favre was only the 40th-ranked quarterback last season in terms of Wins Produced per 100 plays. And despite the value of Manning and Favre, draft position is not a good indicator of future performance for quarterbacks.
- Dr. Berri discussed the state of advanced stats for the NFL, how they’re perceived by coaches and how statistical analysts for NBA teams managed to reduce the reliability of their models despite having access to better data than NFL analysts.
- The conversation moved from a comparison of advanced stats in football and basketball to the NBA playoffs. Dr. Berri tackled the following questions:
- How much value are coaches bringing to their huddles? It can’t be too much if you ask Larry Bird. He said NBA coaches are wrong 60 percent of the time.
- Are the Chicago Bulls still the best team in the East, or have they been passed by the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics?
- Does the half-baked notion need to spend some more time in the oven?
- What happened in the series between the San Antonio Spurs and Memphis Grizzlies?
- Should Otis Smith be fired by the Orlando Magic? Will Dwight Howard and Chris Paul make their next teams instant title contenders?
- If defensive players, like the Heat’s Joel Anthony, have a positive impact on their team’s efficiency differential but their actions aren’t captured in the box score, then are they making their teammates better?
- Are the Oklahoma City Thunder the best in the West?
- Mark Cuban wants to kick bloggers out of the Dallas Mavericks locker room because they bring nothing but negativity to the team and provide little value, but is there anything positive to say about that team’s title hopes? And does it make sense to revoke online journalists’ media access?