Friday, September 15, 2017

LeBron James Has Dominated the 21st Centrury Thus Far

If you look at playoff performance from the 2000-01 season through today, you get these stats:

James has 45.8 Playoff Win Shares.  One other player is within 30% of that figure -- Tim Duncan (32.9).  If you even say "who has HALF of LeBron's Playoff WS?" you get Duncan, Kobe and Dirk.

Well, LeBron has played a long time, so he has an advantage.  What if we go with WS/48 and give the young stars a chance?  Of guys who have logged 2,000 playoff minutes,  NO ONE comes within 10% of the playing level of LeBron.  And only three guys play at even 90% of his playoff level

Kawhi Leonard, Chris Paul, Stephen Curry. 

Guys who have not played at even 60% of LeBron's playoff level despite far fewer minutes?  Ray Allen, Steve Nash, Paul Pierce, Jason Kidd.

Don't care for Advanced Stats?

Minutes Played - LeBron
Baskets Made - LeBron (400+ more than 2nd place Duncan)
Rebounds - Duncan, then LeBron (+468 on 3rd place Ben Wallace)
Assists -- LeBron (+390 on 2nd place Jason Kidd)
Steals - LeBron (+104 on Ginobili)
Points -- LeBron (+1,316 on Kobe)

The reason that LeBron James is always compared to players of the past (Jordan, Kareem, Wilt) is that he simply has no fair comparison against players of his own era.  If you are an excellent player and have played in the 21st Century, it is your HOPE that you have been 80-85% of the player that LeBron James has been.  If so, you are an excellent player of the Century, you might be 20-45% less productive than LeBron James.

And he is STILL better than you (#ESPNRANK ranks James as the #1 NBA player again this year).

Look at playoff wins this century

1LeBron JamesF20062017144
2Tim DuncanF20012016138
3Tony ParkerG20022017136
4Derek FisherG20012014134
5Manu GinobiliG20032017134
6Kobe BryantG20012012108
7Dwyane WadeG20042017104

No one else has 100 playoff wins.  Only ONE of James' teammates (Wade for 4 years) has 100 wins, and he has 40 fewer than LeBron.  Duncan, Parker and Ginobili all played together.  Most of Fisher's and Kobe's wins came playing together.   LeBron carried guys for several years in Cleveland - who never again did anything, then he carried Wade for 4 years in Miami - who has never since done anything, and now he has carried guys in Cleveland (Kyrie, Love, Delly, Tristan) who have never done anything in (or even reached) the playoffs without him.

Is it conceivable that Kawhi Leonard or Kevin Durant could go on a 6-9 year tear and surpass LeBron?  Possible,  But neither has even 20 WS.  LeBron is likely to end with around 50-60 WS and a WS/48 around .22-.24.  That means Kawho and Durant would need to have around 9seasons of 4+ WS at a rate of .300 WS/48 to match LeBron.

There has only been ONE such playoff season in the past 17 years - by LeBron.
If you assume that you could play 9 years and get 4 WS per playoff year and play at a rate of .241 WS/48 and eventually come CLOSE to the stats of a declining LeBron (not true, but assume that), since 2000-01 there have been 10 such seasons.  LeBron has 6 of them (Duncan, Manu, Howard, Dirk). 

The 21st Century has been dominated by LeBron James.  It is likely that the next guy who matches his production has not appeared in the NBA as of today.

Friday, September 01, 2017

A Goodbye to Mrs. P - Sort of Another Old Story

When I was 18, I went to college and became roommates with the #1 engineering student at my college.  We lived together for 4 years before i moved away and went to Duke and then to Minneapolis.   We were very good friends.  We were in each other's weddings. We even saw each other 2 years ago (which, given what a terrible friend I generally am, is an indicator of what good friends we were).  

Anyway - my roommate lived in the Albany area and he always told me "anytime you want, come out and visit and we can go to SPAC or the track."   SPAC was the Saratoga Performing Arts Center and "the track" was Saratoga, as in "I hear you went up to Saratoga, and your horse naturally won" and The Whitney.   So from 1983 to probably 1988 or 1989 I used to go out to the Albany area 1-2 times a year and go drinking and go to the track.  

From my house to Albany was around 5 hours and I'd drive it in my Mercury Lynx and later VW Rabbit.  One time I drove from Durham to Albany at 80 mph through a driving rain, only to get my driver's side door caved in in a car accident at 9pm only 3 miles from my destination - dry road, no rain, 30 mph speed zone when the accident occurred. 

I loved going to Saratoga, even though I never had any luck with the local girls in the bars/dance clubs I was lucky enough to at least avoid arrest when throwing up or urinating in alleys, as sometimes occurred.  The track was more my speed.  We'd go to the nearest liquor warehouse and buy whatever was the cheapest beer they had that we could stand.  Then we'd take giant coolers and go out to the infield and drink.  My roomie would bring his long-time gf and I'd always go solo.  But the gf was a nice girl so she'd always be cool to hang with (she became my roomie's wife and still is)

SPAC was our other hangout and we (and seemingly everyone else) would go drink in the park before the concerts (journey, foreigner, fabulous thunderbirds, talking heads, Bryan Adams, etc).   Then we always sat on the hill and watched while we sobered up. Then we'd go home. One SPAC concert my roomie's wife saw a friend she knew named Donna and asked her to come over and drink with us. At the time, I was probably around 200 pounds, pretty powerfully built.   These words would also describe Donna, who played college rugby. About 4 Pabst Blue Ribbon 16 ouncers into our drinking, Donna whispers to me "I will drive you back to their house after the concert -- but we won't go STRAIGHT home, if you catch my drift".  I did and I immediately panicked.  Fortunately, some begging with my roomie's gf got her to make Donna back off. I am not sure I could have outfought her otherwise.  In hindsight, I'd give myself a 30% chance. 

Anyway - these 6-7 years worth of trips were a great time in my life and my roomie's house was like a second home for me.  I'd drive the 5 hours out.  I always ate on the way, but the second I reached my Albany destination, my roomie's mom would say "come in, sit down, I will make you a sandwich".  I'd reply that I had already eaten. "Come on, sit at the table, I will get you a beer ". She'd always make me a sandwich with about 6-8 potato chips (she always had Store brand ruffled) on a small plate. She'd open a beer for me and we'd sit and chat.   Mrs P was the nicest lady in the world. She'd talk to me about mom things and "how is school" and "how are the folks" and she was just a great mom figure (like a much much much much nicer version of my actual mom).  

The other thing I remember about Mrs. P is she didn't care if we drank and got drunk and stumbled home at all hours. But she also showed no mercy when we were hungover. She used to say "you're gonna drink, you gotta pay the piper".   I bet I was hungover 12-15 times in her house - never an "oh that it too bad, Maven".  Not once. 

I learned today that Mrs. P just died.   She had been sick for a few months and just sort of went bad suddenly.  She was a great lady.  She treated me as a family member and I always considered her a family member. Sadly, I have not seen her in 25 years or more.  This fact makes me feel really shitty. But I have to hope that she knew how much I cared about her and how great I think she is, I guess "was."   There are not many people in your life who care that much about you. You always remember  the ones who do. 

Her daughter is a Facebook friend and messaged me to tell me Mrs. P had died and how. She said "my mom adored you and she always talked about how great it was when you visited".   Right back at you, Mrs.P.   While I am not a religious guy, I really hope there is heaven or a place like heaven, because I'd really like to see her again some day - have a beer and a sandwich and like 8 ruffled potato chips and just chat about things again.  Good bye and good luck, Mrs. P - you made my life much better.  

Friday, August 25, 2017

Who Was the Best During the Seasons They Were First Team All-NBA?

Thanks to a glitch in the system, I was able to look at the stats of NBA players for ONLY the season where they were 1st Team All-NBA. 
Here is the link --  Hopefully the glitch will not be fixed. 

One thing about evaluating players' careers is that most guys stay a little (or a lot) too long or start at age 18, so they just aren't very good for 2-4 years of their career.  That gets tossed into the evaluation mix.

With data that ONLY identifies how the guys played during the years they were (subjectively) evaluated as an all-NBA guy, you can evaluate 1) how many years was the guy truly great; 2) how was he performing as a player during those years; and 3) how does he compare to other all-time greats.

At 14,700 minutes as a 1st Team All-NBA player, Charles Barkley has the 20th most minutes at that level.  So I cut it off at Charles so we could get a top 20.

From 20 to 6 in MP as a First Team all-NBAer -- Barkley, Durant, Barry, Schayes, Olajuwon, O'Neal, Magic, Wilt, Cousy, Duncan, Bird, West, Petit, Baylor, Oscar 

Most Minutes Played as an All-NBA player
Karl Malone

Most Minutes Per Game While 1st Team All-NBA

Kareem and LeBron (tie)

Karl Malone



Karl Malone

karl Malone

Karl Malone

Effective FG%

True Sh%

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Kyrie Irving and Isaiah Thomas Trade -- Most Confusing Thing I Have Ever Seen

Why does the trade of Kyrie Irving to Boston for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and Brooklyn's unprotected #1 confuse me?  Let me count the ways:

1) I cannot imagine the 1980s Celtics trading with the Sixers or the Bucks or the Pistons and certainly I cannot imagine the Celtics trading, for example, McHale or Parish to one of those teams. 

I am sure that this has happened at some point outside of my memory, but I cannot recall a team as good as the Cavs trading a guy who has been 2nd team all-NBA to a key conference rival.  Bizarre.

2) What does this say about Isaiah Thomas's torn hip socket?  I mean, in 2003-04 Sam Cassell had over 12 Win Shares and was second team all-NBA, leading the Wolves to a #1 seed in the West.  In the playoffs, he struggled with a mystery ailment, which the Wolves deemed "back spasms" and which eventually was diagnosed as a torn hip socket.  The Wolves had to play without him and lost in the conference finals.  Cassell before 2005 had WS seasons of 9.2, 8.5, 8.6, 9.6 and 12.1.  After the torn hip socket, Cassell never had an 8 WS season and had only one decent year for the rest of his career.

If Isaiah Thomas suffers the same dropoff, and goes back to being a 4-6 WS player (he had 12.5 last year), what are you really getting for Kyrie?  A good bench guy?

3) Jae Crowder and Ante Zizic?

Jae Crowder has long been the #1 "untouchable" Celtic because he is a "glue guy."  I recall him mostly as the guy LeBron blows by every single possession of Cavs/Celts games.  He is an OK player, but he is not supposed to be a key cog on a championship team.  The fact that the Celts have held him out of deals so often is baffling to me.

Ante Zizic --

Like most Euro big guys, it is impossible to evaluate them until they come and play in the NBA, but if this article is to be believed, the Celts gave away a top 10 level draft pick as a throw-in.  If he is, instead, Jan Vesely, then it is a non-factor, but imagine if the Cavs had a decent big guy who wasn't like 6'8" (Tristan Thompson).

4)  Why would the Celts Pick this Trade to Give Away that Brooklyn #1?

I am a Duke guy, I have good feelings for Kyrie's game.  But I would have thought that the Celts had far better opportunities for this #1.  Maybe they fear that Brooklyn won't be so awful and the pick may fall to a #5?  Who knows - but this pick has LONG been the cornerstone of the idea that the Celts were going to dominate the league (or at least the East) for 10 years.  Keep IT, Hayward, the crucial Jae Crowder, Horford, get a high pick (Tatum) develop Jaylon Brown and then BAM Porter or Bagley!! 

Suddenly the pick goes to.........your arch rival?  If Porter or Bagley becomes the next great thing and the pick went to the Cavs.....doesn't that mean LeBron probably stays around?  LeBron always talks about how he loves Chris Paul and Melo and Wade and blah, blah, blah, but if he wants to play until 38 or so, doesn't he want to play with a YOUNG superstar whose game he can groom?  He saw that Cleveland had good young players - went home.  Do you want to ENCOURAGE LeBron to stay in your conference and keep beating you?

5) How does Isaiah Thomas fit with LeBron? 

Maybe he is physically shot and will just split time with Derrick Rose.  If so, no problem.  But if IT is going to be AT ALL useful to you, he has to take a ton of shots and render LeBron worthless on 20-30 possessions a game.  Is that what you really want?

6) The Old Celtics Roster, While Less Talented, Made More Sense With Brad Stevens Coaching.

The hardest thing about playing the Celtics was that they were very young and played hard for 48 minutes and always believed they would win.  This belief carried them through despite their general lack of elite talent (Avery Bradley and Marcus Smart and Jae Crowder would jack threes down 17 in the 4th with as much confidence as if they were Curry/Thompson.Durant).

You now have a Kyrie-led squad.  No one has ever accused Kyrie of outworking his opponent.  Gordon Hayward isn't a grinder.  You've now reduced the value of Jayson Tatum.  Unless you are going to give him the LeBron role of distributing the ball to the scorers, what role, exactly, does he play now? 

The whole trade makes absolutely no sense for anyone.  I guess I'd have to give the advantage to Cleveland.  They get a couple of assets that, if lightning strikes, may be awesome "gets" and they get a chance to keep LeBron around for 4-5 years.


Friday, August 11, 2017

Taylor Swift Ass-Grabbing Case -- A Lawyer's Personal Opinion

All of this is just my opinion.

The general rule of civil (as opposed to criminal) law is that you have a trial when there are "genuine issues of material fact which preclude judgment as a matter of law for one side."

In this case, the judge at issue has to decide whether the disc jockey has the right to get a jury to reach a verdict on whether he was "defamed" when Taylor Swift said he grabbed her ass (her allegations resulting in him being fired).

At this point in the case, based upon what has been reported (see above link), I really fail to see how the case reaches the jury.  Again, according to reports:

1) The DJ testified that he "may have" had some contact with Ms. Swift's ribcage area, but never grabbed her ass.

This self-serving testimony is the ONLY shred of evidence that has been presented in his favor.

Against this allegation, there is an actual picture of him reaching toward the bottom of her skirt with his hand and appearing to (at the very least) fondle her below the belt.  So, his testimony cannot be believed.  He has lied about his hand placement and his story in my opinion,.is, simply put, false.

Against this tale, which has no credibility, you have Swift testifying that he grabbed her bare ass under her skirt and that she immediately shimmied away toward his girlfriend (which the picture also shows).  You have two different people testifying that they witnessed the DJ grab her ass and others testifying that she told them immediately thereafter that the DJ had, in fact, grabbed her ass.

How is there any genuine fact dispute here?  Can Kyrie Irving sue a school district for teaching that the earth is round and reach trial by testifying "I think it is flat"?  I mean, at SOME point the judge has to step in and stop the charade.  In my opinion, he should have awarded summary judgment against the DJ and given Ms. Swift her $1 in damages she was seeking.

That said, there are judges who believe that they will try to let the jury "do the right thing" and then intervene only after the jury has made a grotesque error.  While this is the safer play in many cases (i.e., cases that are halfway close), this sort of decision creates situations where people have to go through a jury trial and pay a lawyer $1,000,000 to defend ridiculous allegations.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

"Brad" From Grinnell, Iowa Officially World's Largest Penis

19.1 inches!!!

Good Jesus.  19 inches.  Basically the length from my elbow to the tip of my middle finger!  (Also, of note, at least 2 full inches longer than my actual.....)

I simply cannot imagine a life of this sort.  Brad notes that a woman left him b/c she couldn't handle it.  No shit, Brad.  Amy Schumer tells a story of how she once faked falling asleep because the guy she was with was roughly 10 inches.  This guy is barely halfway in at that level.

As I noted on Twitter, it was bad when I lost to that Mexican guy in 2015, but falling to 3rd place has really put a dent in my self esteem.

Congrats, Brad.  But I think a move to the Los Angeles area is probably your best chance of finding true love.

Friday, August 04, 2017

Stages of Right Wing Crazy Blonde Commentators

I am sorry, I saw this on Twitter and I just could not resist.