Tuesday, August 16, 2011

1 comments Predicting The NBA Hall of Fame

I’ve never really been able to adequately articulate my Hall of Fame frustration. And it’s not unique to basketball. What are the criteria? Nothing and everything. Who votes? I have no idea. In a recent attempt to satisfy my growing frustration, I scoured the internet for a list of voters and came up with squat. Not because my googling abilities are subpar, but because it’s not publicly listed. So not only do we not know who’s voting, we have no idea why they vote one way or the other.

Luckily I ran into this article from Basketball Reference, which used a logistic regression to determine what statistics indicate who is likely to be in the Hall of Fame. Obviously this is not the actual criteria – it simply determines the weight certain categories appear to hold with the voters. Here are the categories:

(Minimum of 400 games played)

Height (inches)
Last Season Indicator (only applicable to players who retired up to 1960)
NBA points per game
NBA rebounds per game
NBA assists per game
NBA All-Star selections
NBA championships won

According to the formula, 692 of 716 players were correctly classified as HoFers or not (.5 or higher, a player is in the HoF).

So let’s apply the formula to a few guys we know will be enshrined.

Kobe Bryant (see below for how to use the formula).

Height: 78 - inches x (-0.19061) = -14.86758 = A
PPG: 25.3 x (0.38969) = 9.859 = B
RPG: 5.3 x (0.41478) = 2.198334 = C
APG: 4.7 x (0.34946) = 1.642462 = D
ASG: 13 x ((0.56729) = 7.374 = E
Rings: 5 x .96592) = 4.8296 = F

A + B + C + D + E + F = 11.035816 = X

HoF Likelihood = 1/(1 + e^(-X)) = 99.99%

Other future HoFers:

LeBron James: 99.26%
Ray Allen: 97.49%

Here are a few guys that will be (arguably) on the fringe when all is said and done.

Yao Ming: 30.21%
Pau: 60.07%
Chauncey Billups: 21.53%
Vince Carter: 85.80%
Jermaine O'Neal: 3.27%
Tracy McGrady: 66.49%

Clearly there’s still time to improve resumes, but this is a pretty accurate assessment of the general consensus. Unfortunately, there’s one major flaw. Since Basketball Reference used the statistics it found most defining for someone’s HoF status, what does this say about the voters? Points per game, rebounds per game and assists per game are all relative based on eras. Wilt’s stats would not look quite as good against today’s competition. Would Steve Nash’s stats be that good had he not played in a wide-open, throw-up-as-many-shots-as-possible-offense? And then of course there str All Star games, where fans choose the players they like, not necessarily the best players. Yao is obviously the best example of this. And finally, championships. Don’t even get me started on that one. Every time I hear the argument that championships define a player, I cringe beyond belief. There are too many circumstances, too many variables to simply look at the number of rings and make a concrete decision. As much as I respect Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, they’re only considered winners because they have Tim Duncan, and vice versa. LeBron, meanwhile, correctly receives the hate because he couldn’t win when, for once, he had the better team. Even worse, the most weighted categories are also the most arbitrary (All Star games and championships). Alright, that's enough from me.


ivn said...


the war is over. the good guys lost.