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

Author

Listed:
  • 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Dennis Coates & Babatunde Oguntimein, 2008. "The Length and Success of NBA Careers: Does College Production Predict Professional Outcomes?," Working Papers 0806, International Association of Sports Economists;North American Association of Sports Economists.
  • Handle: RePEc:spe:wpaper:0806
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Camerer, Colin F. & Weber, Roberto A., 1999. "The econometrics and behavioral economics of escalation of commitment: a re-examination of Staw and Hoang's NBA data," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 59-82, May.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. Stephen J. Spurr, 2000. "The Baseball Draft," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 1(1), pages 66-85, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:jeborg:v:142:y:2017:i:c:p:105-119 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Ichniowski, Casey & Preston, Anne, 2017. "Does March Madness lead to irrational exuberance in the NBA draft? High-value employee selection decisions and decision-making bias," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 142(C), pages 105-119.
    3. Ozmen M. Utku, 2012. "Foreign Player Quota, Experience and Efficiency of Basketball Players," Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-18, March.
    4. 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.
    5. Rodenberg Ryan & Kim Jun Woo, 2012. "Testing the On-Court Efficacy of the NBA's Age Eligibility Rule," Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports, De Gruyter, vol. 8(2), pages 1-23, June.
    6. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    NBA; sports; basketball;

    JEL classification:

    • L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism

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