The case for Dennis Rodman.
- jim 12-20-2013 1:11 am

i dont even know what argument he is trying to make, that rodman is the best third best player on a team by a wide margin therefore in some sense that makes him more valuable than jordan because the margin of his being better than the next best best player isnt as great? obviously he shies away from saying this is true but wont completely say its not. advanced metric thinking can become muddled pretty quickly to an unadvanced mind. all i know is that im not sure i cant take seriously someone who has never heard of adrian dantley. thats like not knowing who connie hawkins is (!) which i didnt before listening to an interview with julius erving this afternoon.
- dave 12-20-2013 2:43 am

I just thought it was good writing. But I think he's saying that Rodman is more valuable than Jordan in the very limited hypothetical situation where you would have to replace the one you didn't keep with the next best available option (basically because there is no next best in Rodmans case). But I don't know enough to evaluate this. I just like this sort of Bill James / Moneyball sort of analysis where you can come to some unintuitive (or non obvious) conclusions about the value of players.
- jim 12-20-2013 2:57 am

yeah, but its how they come up with their valuations that becomes impenetrable along with the certitude of their models which are mind numbingly difficult to parse for me at least. obviously there is a lot of value in what they can do. the nba front offices are more and more run by advanced metric oriented types even more so than in baseball. dont know if that is a reflection of the owners like paul allen or mark cuban or that there are less moving parts in basketball so its easier to quantify. also, could be that as a result of the salary cap as teams need to be smarter or else become the knicks of the last 10 years piling one stupid contract on top of the next until they implode.

also, a better solution would be to create more rodmans but players dont necessarily want to give themselves up to defense and rebounding. dont know to what extent it was his skills and athleticism so much as his willingness to take on that role.
- dave 12-20-2013 3:24 am

was just listening to a podcast and anecdotally it was suggested that rodman looked to pad his rebounding numbers by shirking his defensive responsibilities at times. whether or not that is true and whether or not that is something that a computer model can prove has no bearing on the outcome is open for debate, but it is an example of how the numbers which can seem incontrovertible can perhaps lack context.
- dave 12-25-2013 10:44 pm

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