“I'm with you that the worst NBA team is far superior to the best college team (the last line was a [very bad] joke), but I will add two thoughts...
1. By definition, the Cavs have 15 NBA players, but in reality, some of their guys are not NBA caliber (i.e. they are there because of injuries). Samardo Samuels? Alonzo Gee? Manny Harris? How much do those guys play on the Buckeyes' squad?
2. I'd say that Jared Sullinger is a better asset than any of the Cavaliers' current players.
The Cavaliers are taking the right approach to rebuilding. I'd rather have a team be really bad and get a good chance at the number one pick than win 35-45 games and be stuck in no-man's land--just missing the playoffs or getting slaughtered in the first round. The pre-LeBron Cavaliers spent too many years being bad, but not quite bad enough (until the awful season that netted them LeBron). Those mediocre seasons led to draft picks such as Trajan Langdon, Desagan Diop, Chris Mihm, and Dajuan Wagner.”
“Your question will play out for all the world to see. As a Cleveland fan, I'm frustrated at LeBron's playoff collapse (which he curiously has not commented on at all throughout this ordeal) and hope that he does not experience success in Miami.
However, the point of this article was to say that the real problem is with the maximum salary construct. If LeBron could make $40 million per year, I don't think he'd be quite so willing to "share" with his friends. When it costs $1 million, sure...$25 million? Eliminating the max salary would cut down on the trend toward super dominant teams.”
“I originally had a note about this in the article, but took it out since it seemed a bit off-topic. Glad you asked.
In no way do I fault owners for operating this way. They are business people and entitled to make decisions in their own interest. I agree with Sky Minor (see below) that it is up to voters to "reign in this excess." However, as a sports fan, this could be a tough decision since it could mean losing a team. As long as there is some other city out there willing to pay for a stadium or give a team some other benefit that their current city cannot provide (such as a big media market), all teams are bargaining from a point of strength. Minnesota for instance gets a ton of leverage from the fact that there are other appealing destinations for their team (see: LA). If leagues did not have their special status, there would likely be more teams and they would not be able to wield the threat of moving to gain taxpayer funds. Economist Andrew Zimbalist has done a lot of work on this issue and I suggest you check it out.”
FirstGame72 on Dec 23, 2009 at 12:53:00
“Thank you for the response. Of course monopolies in any area of society almost always lead to bad things.
I'm sure I'm in the minority when I say that I wish people would NEVER let their love of their favorite team lead them to be blackmailed into allowing public funds to go to subsidize a multi-millionair's new sports stadium. People should be stronger and stand up for themselves and their community. If a team threatens to leave town, then the fans should suck it up and just let them go.”
LiberalDem on Dec 23, 2009 at 12:19:39
“I'm not sure whether even voters can stop this practice. Several years ago I watched a program on TV about sports teams and public financing and one case examined in the program was the financing of the Arizona Diamondbacks stadium. Public financing was voted down. The team owner and local politicians proceeded to pull a backdoor manuveur and got public funding anyway.”
“I did not see the Sirota article. I will answer your question very simply: I don't blame the owners. I hope my article does not make it seem as if I harbor resentment toward the owners. In fact, in the last paragraph, I mention that the owners are not at fault. They have legally obtained the funds.
Sports leagues essentially operate as cartels. They receive special treatment from the government in the form of special antitrust status. Baseball has an antitrust exemption and the other leagues also essentially operate as monopolies. Due to the fact that they can restrict the supply of teams, they are able to make demands (such as stadium financing) with the threat of leaving. In my own city, Cleveland, when Art Modell did not get the stadium he wanted (he had the opportunity to be part of Jacobs Field with the Indians when it was in the planning stages, but he wanted his own stadium), he left for Baltimore. When he left, Cleveland was so desperate for a team that we approved additional taxes to fund a new stadium. As a sports fan, I understand how this can happen: we love our teams and there are enough of us that we can be bullied around. However, this really should not have to happen. Our funds are supposedly going toward stadium building (and it's alleged economic boost), but I also claim taxpayer money is going toward player salaries.”
“Thanks for the feedback. I think you are misinterpreting what I am trying to say. Obviously, with the botched extra point, the case for a kneel down is stronger, but even making the extra point, I still think a kneel would have been better for them. 50 seconds and no timeouts is very, very difficult. Yes, Cincinnati did score in about that time, but if they had been under those constraints, I think they would have had to play differently (you can't use the middle of the field as much). Thus, I still think that a kneel down on the one would have been a good move. At minimum, you burn a few more seconds and force UC to use a couple timeouts before the FG. Most likely, you still get the TD and force them to use a timeout.”
FirstGame72 on Dec 7, 2009 at 12:25:29
“I always approve of the kneel down to kill the clock (although it is not fool proof in that a field goal, even a chip shot, is not assured - see missed extra point - or scoring a touchdown on an ensuing play is extremely not assured) as long as the kneel down, followed by the winning score, come with virtually no time left on the clock (less than ten seconds maybe).
In a tie game with less than two minutes remaining a team will simply never give up a lead touchdown by kneeling unless the opposition has zero time outs and the clock can be run to (virtually) the last play.”
“Very good point. Passing efficiency (ypa) is a better indicator than either of the measures I used...that's the reason the teams with 300 yards and less than 30 attempts fare so well. I was looking to see whether maybe just lots of attempts was also helpful for team. It appears that it is not.
It would be interesting to see if yards per attempt correlates better with winning percentage now than in the past. I'll check into that soon and post it...either here or on our blog:
“I agree linear regression is not the perfect way to analyze this question. The Yankees are a huge outlier and taking a log of marginal spending would probably be more appropriate. For this post, I wanted to keep things simple.
There are other factors which are outside the scope of this study...I only looked at opening day payroll, so teams that took on salary during the season were not accounted for. Furthermore, this study did not consider draft and international free agent signing spending, which is becoming increasingly large. Until the collective bargaining agreement changes in a couple years, there is some concern that there will be more cases of wealthy teams getting better talent due to their willingness to "pay above slot." Rick Porcello in 2007 was a prominent example of this...everyone knew he was a very good player, but he tumbled in the draft due to his (read: Scott Boras') huge contract demands. The Tigers picked him at #27 and got a terrific player.
Still, the key finding is that money is at least a decent predictor of win percentage and this year was not very different from other years.”