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David Berri

Entries by David Berri

Think the WNBA is in Trouble? Let's Talk Some NBA History

(8) Comments | Posted June 3, 2016 | 11:08 AM

The WNBA is in the midst of its twentieth season. This is a landmark in women's professional team sports. For a league in women's team sports to exist this long with the same name and many of the same franchises is not common. In general, new leagues struggle and many...

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Men in Tennis Seem Confused About Why Anyone Succeeds

(105) Comments | Posted March 23, 2016 | 2:28 PM

Indian Wells CEO Raymond Moore decided to offer some thoughts on women's tennis Sunday morning:

"I think the WTA [Women's Tennis Association] -- you know, in my next life, when I come back, I want to be someone in the WTA because they ride on the coattails of...

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Isiah Thomas is Simply Not Good Enough at His Job to Get a Pass on His Past Behavior

(21) Comments | Posted May 29, 2015 | 12:10 PM

Legendary coach Jerry Tarkanian once observed: "The NCAA is so mad at Kentucky they're going to give Cleveland State another year of probation."

As Tarkanian observes, success can often make you immune to prosecution. And a lack of success makes it easier for misdeeds to be punished.

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Close is Not Far in the NBA

(0) Comments | Posted May 18, 2015 | 4:23 PM

The NBA Final Four is now set. Not surprisingly, the top two seeds in each conference are all that remain in the 2015 NBA playoffs. And now fans of the remaining 26 teams get to wonder when their team will also be contenders to win an NBA title.

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Bad Decision Making is a Pattern With the New York Knicks

(2) Comments | Posted May 14, 2015 | 10:51 AM

Last week, James Dolan -- chairman of Madison Square Garden (which owns the New York Knicks) -- proposed that Isiah Thomas be named president and part-owner of the New York Liberty of the WNBA.

This immediately struck many people as an awful choice. Thomas was hired by...

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The University of Michigan Will Win With Men's Basketball, Even If the Team Loses

(1) Comments | Posted December 24, 2014 | 3:04 PM

Big-time athletics at the University of Michigan haven't been going so well lately. The football team recently finished with a 5-7 mark. This marked the third time in the past seven years the Wolverines failed to win half their football games. Prior to this stretch, Michigan hadn't had a losing...

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You Can't Study College Coaches Without Looking at the Players

(5) Comments | Posted September 30, 2014 | 11:04 AM

According to Deadspin, in 2013 the highest paid public employee in 27 different states was a college football coach. In 13 other states, it was a college basketball coach. For some, this might suggest that the public is devoting too much money to college sports. In fact, one...

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Why Masahiro Tanaka's Yankees Contract Is Good for Baseball

(0) Comments | Posted February 4, 2014 | 4:45 PM

A few days ago, the New York Yankees signed Masahiro Tanaka to a $155 million contract. As Bryan Hoch of notes, this is the fifth-highest salary for a pitcher in Major League history. But the Tanaka contract is different from the top four on the...

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Losing Is Not a Winning Strategy in the NBA

(7) Comments | Posted October 29, 2013 | 5:39 PM

The NBA season is beginning this week and fans of each team are, of course, optimistic. At this point, everyone can hope a title is possible come next summer.

Although everyone could theoretically have dreams of a title in 2014, it is clear that every NBA fan isn't actually...

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A Former NBA Coach Argues That Coaches Are Not Responsible for Outcomes

(6) Comments | Posted May 30, 2013 | 6:53 PM

The coaching carousel continues to spin in the NBA. In recent days, the Los Angeles Clippers -- coming off the best season in franchise history -- have decided not to bring back Vinny Del Negro as head coach. The Phoenix Suns -- coming off their worst season since they were...

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Seattle Is Frustrated By the NBA's Command Economy

(5) Comments | Posted May 23, 2013 | 5:26 PM

For 41 years, the city of Seattle enjoyed NBA basketball. And then the Sonics moved to Oklahoma City and became the Thunder.

Across the past year, though, there was hope that the NBA was returning to the Emerald City. Sure the team was the Kings -- a squad that has...

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Applying MVP Voting Standards to Wall Street Executives

(3) Comments | Posted May 10, 2013 | 1:05 PM

LeBron James was recently given his 4th Most Valuable Player award by 120 sportswriters. Well, at least 119 sportswriters agreed LeBron was MVP. Gary Washburn -- of the Boston Globe -- thought Carmelo Anthony was the league's MVP in 2012-13.

It doesn't take...

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How to Fix College Coaching

(22) Comments | Posted April 8, 2013 | 4:33 PM

Rutgers University fired Mike Rice -- the head basketball coach -- last Wednesday. This firing came about after ESPN released a video that showed Rice abusing his players. Such a video had already been seen by Rice's boss at Rutgers in November, but until the video was...

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How About a Free Market for College Athletes?

(42) Comments | Posted March 22, 2013 | 11:57 AM

In 2010, CBS and Turner Broadcasting agreed to pay $10.8 billion to broadcast the NCAA men's basketball tournament from 2011 to 2024. As a result of this contract, fans of this tournament can watch these games on four different networks. And perhaps more importantly (for those of...

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An Economist on the Oscars

(33) Comments | Posted February 27, 2013 | 12:26 PM

The "best" picture of 2012 was Argo.

At least that's the film that won the Oscar for best picture. According to the Oscars, the decision to give this award toArgo was made by the nearly 6,000 voting members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. As

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A Guide to Better Sports Analysis

(1) Comments | Posted January 22, 2013 | 4:01 PM

This blog post first appeared on Wages of Wins.

"Analysis" is defined by Websters as "separation of a whole into its component parts."

So when we listen to an analyst on television during a basketball game, we should hope to hear analysis that takes what we...

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How Did the Worst Team in NBA History Become a Title Contender?

(35) Comments | Posted January 8, 2013 | 3:10 PM

This blog post originally appeared on

Kobe Bryant says that "other team" in LA -- the Clippers -- are title contenders in 2013.

And Kobe made this statement before the Clippers defeated the Lakers on Friday night and then destroyed the Golden State...

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How Can a New College Football Coach Avoid Getting Fired?

(3) Comments | Posted January 3, 2013 | 4:12 PM

This post first appeared on

More than 25 college football teamshave decided to change head coaches in the past few weeks. As the new coaches get hired and settled into their new jobs, one suspects that all of them believe that they will be...

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Is Changing the Coach Really the Answer?

(15) Comments | Posted December 21, 2012 | 3:49 PM

This post originally appeared on

Much of the focus today on college football is on the teams at the top. Will Notre Dame win the national title and finish undefeated? Can Alabama win another championship? Then there are the 34 other bowl games. In all,...

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Does the 'Best' Team Win the World Series?

(25) Comments | Posted November 9, 2012 | 11:38 AM

This post originally appeared on

It's been a few days. And although I ain't over it yet, I think I can write about the Detroit Tigers losing the World Series.

When the playoff in baseball began, 10 teams -- and their fans -- were very happy. But...

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