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The Length and Success of NBA Careers: Does College Production Predict Professional Outcomes?

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Author Info

  • Dennis Coates

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Maryland, Baltimore County)

  • Babatunde Oguntimein

    (Department of Economics, University of Maryland, Baltimore County)

Abstract

This paper uses data on players drafted in 1987 through 1989 covering both their collegiate and their professional careers. This time period is chosen because we wanted recent players whose playing days have ended. Our analysis evaluates the role of college productivity on draft position and the relationship between college career productivity, measured in three different ways, with professional career productivity measured similarly and with the length of the career. At issue is the effectiveness of NBA executives in identifying college players who will be successful in the pros. Our results suggest an interesting puzzle regarding scoring. The NBA literature suggests scoring is paramount for evaluating professional players, while our results suggest college scoring has little to do with draft position and is relatively weakly associated with professional scoring.

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File URL: http://college.holycross.edu/RePEc/spe/CoatesOguntimein_NBA.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by International Association of Sports Economists & North American Association of Sports Economists in its series Working Papers with number 0806.

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Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:spe:wpaper:0806

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Keywords: NBA; sports; basketball;

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  1. Boulier, Bryan L. & Stekler, H.O. & Coburn, Jason & Rankins, Timothy, 2010. "Evaluating National Football League draft choices: The passing game," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 589-605, July.
  2. Peter Groothuis & James Richard Hill & Timothy Perri, 2009. "The dilemma of choosing talent: Michael Jordans are hard to find," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(25), pages 3193-3198.
  3. Wallace Hendricks & Lawrence DeBrock & Roger Koenker, 2003. "Uncertainty, Hiring, and Subsequent Performance: The NFL Draft," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(4), pages 857-886, October.
  4. Camerer, Colin F. & Weber, Roberto A., 1998. "The Econometrics and Behavioral Economics of Escalation of Commitment: A Re-examination of Staw and Hoang's NBA Data," Working Papers 1043, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  5. David J. Berri & Stacey L. Brook & Martin B. Schmidt, 2007. "Does One Simply Need to Score to Score?," International Journal of Sport Finance, Fitness Information Technology, vol. 2(4), pages 190-205, November.
  6. Stephen J. Spurr, 2000. "The Baseball Draft: A Study of the Ability to Find Talent," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 1(1), pages 66-85, February.
  7. Peter Groothuis & Richard Hill & Timothy Perri, 2004. "Early Entry in the NBA Draft: The Influence of Unraveling, Human Capital and Option Value," Working Papers 04-05, Department of Economics, Appalachian State University, revised 2005.
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Cited by:
  1. Ryan M. Rodenberg & Jun Woo Kim, 2011. "Precocity and labor market outcomes: Evidence from professional basketball," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 31(3), pages 2185-2190.
  2. Casey Ichniowski & Anne E. Preston, 2012. "Does March Madness Lead to Irrational Exuberance in the NBA Draft? High-Value Employee Selection Decisions and Decision-Making Bias," NBER Working Papers 17928, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Borland, Jeff & Lee, Leng & Macdonald, Robert D., 2011. "Escalation effects and the player draft in the AFL," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 371-380, June.

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