NBA Players

Kobe Bryant meet Game Theory

Keep smiling, keep shining

Between school, work, updating this blog, and hard-core partying, I have had little time this semester to read for pleasure.

I just reached page 117 of 342 in Basketball on Paper by Dean Oliver, and came across an interesting passage last night that I wanted to discuss.

With a lot of hype over Kobe Bryant’s current 35 PPG Average and his miraculous 81 point game against the Raptors, I started wondering if such performances and inflated numbers actually help out his team in their effort to make the playoffs and have a successful season.

On pg. 115 of Basketball on Paper, Dean Oliver discusses how temmates compete amongst each other for playing time, shots, and ultimately, glory. But Oliver claims that such competition can severly hurt a team.

Quoting directly from Dean Oliver:

Allowing your star player to score 70 percent of your points may seem like an optimal theory because he is so much better than his teammates, but does it start infringing upon the fairness that the teammates need to feel is there? More relevantly, is that 70 percent actually better for the team?

A lot of game theory is discussed within the chapter, which questions whether teammates will stop playing as hard if they are being unfairly rewarded (do you even know who Kobe’s supporting cast is?). Interestingly enough, Dean Oliver points out Phil Jackson as a coach who has been able to motivate his former teams to perform even when there is one superstar that takes much of the credit for the team’s success. We will see if he is able to lead Kobe Bryant and the rest of the Lakers into the post-season while making sure that his team remains to play together as one cohesive unit.

[tags]basketball, kobe bryant, phil jackson, game theory, dean oliver[/tags]

By Darren Heitner

Darren Heitner created Sports Agent Blog as a New Year's Resolution on December 31, 2005. Originally titled, "I Want To Be A Sports Agent," the website was founded with the intention of causing Heitner to learn more about the profession that he wanted to join, meet reputable individuals in the space and force himself to stay on top of the latest news and trends.

Heitner now runs Heitner Legal, P.L.L.C., which is a law firm with many practice areas, including sports law and contract law. Heitner has represented numerous athletes and sports agents as legal counsel. He has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Indiana University Bloomington from 2011-2014, where he created and taught a course titled, Sport Agency Management, which included subjects ranging from NCAA regulations to athlete agent certification and the rules governing the profession. Heitner serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where he teaches a Sports Law class that includes case law surrounding athlete agents and the NCAA rules.

One reply on “Kobe Bryant meet Game Theory”

Interesting post I must say. You have found an interesting book as well. I tis funny how game theory is applicable in almost every situation.

Good luck with becoming a sports agent!

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