Monthly Archives: June 2014

Is Manu Ginobili a Hall of Famer?

The Keltner List is a series of subjective questions formulated by famed sabermetrician Bill James used to help assess whether or not a player deserves to be elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Although the system was designed to evaluate baseball players, with a few minor tweaks it can also be used to assess the Hall-worthiness of basketball players. Today I will assess the Hall of Fame chances of Manu Ginobili.

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Basketball Hall of Fame Standards

In his excellent book The Politics of Glory, Bill James outlined what he called the Hall of Fame Standards Test. In a nutshell, the system awards points to players for various accomplishments: hitting .300, winning 300 games, etc. James designed the system such that the average Hall of Famer had a score of 50.

I wanted to develop a similar system for basketball, but immediately ran into a problem. The election process for the baseball Hall of Fame is very different from that of the basketball Hall of Fame, the biggest difference being that the basketball Hall of Fame honors players based on their college, international, and/or professional accomplishments, while the baseball Hall of Fame honors players based solely on their professional careers.

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NBA Draft Scores

Back in September 2013 I took a look at the value of an NBA lottery pick, but one thing that always bugged me about that analysis was that there was an inherent assumption that all drafts are created equal. In other words, the expected value of the number one pick was always the same regardless of the talent available. This is, of course, demonstrably false, so I wanted to come up with a way to account for this quirk.

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