Nerdnumbers avatar

The Boxscore Geeks Show: Contractually Obligated Podcasting


Video Show


Patrick Minton(nbageek)

Produced by Brian Foster(boxscorebrian)

This week's poll

Show Notes

O'Bannon Ruling

The Ed O'Bannon trial recently came out in favor of "student athletes"

Jonathan Weiler wrote a great piece about Bob Bowlski(the Big 12 -- a non-profit organization -- commissioner) and his ludicrous statements about not paying athletes.

College athletics don't make money, or so they say. Of course, it's easy to not make money when you spend it all on athletic coaches! Following up Patrick's talk on this, our old post on this was using the same graphic used at Deadspin.

By the way, the idea that not paying athletes helps parity in college sports is just a myth.

As we've talked with Paul Shirley about before, the rules about how athletes can make money in college (e.g. side jobs using their image) are absurd.

Dave Berri has discussed that paying students to work in college is nothing shocking. He does it. Athletes are apparently different.

Comment Policy

As we mentioned in the thread for last week's show, we're going to be a bit different in the comments. While we do enjoy taking the time out to clarify questions/complaints about our metrics, methodologies, etc., some have abused this. Repeating the same thing over and over is just not going to fly.

Additionally, we've decided to start removing incorrect comments. We feel this is unfair to our readers, who may not realize a statement is incorrect. While we'd love to spend the time to correct/edit every comment, we don't have the time (see below for exciting reasons why). There are lots of people happy to tinker in this space. And that's great. But if your math is off, it will not find a place in our comments.

One last thing that Patrick didn't mention in depth is the length of comments. If you have a super long comment, I suggest you write your own blog post (even a medium as simple as Facebook supports this) and provide a link. Again, it's rough to edit stuff and while I enjoy the enthusiasm of long comments, they do monopolize the comment space, so they too may start getting deleted.

We've seen pushback before in regards to deleting/editing comments. What I will say is that this is our blog. We pay money and have put considerable work to make it. Commenting here is a privilege, not a right. And the majority of you are great commenters with good insight. We've just seen a small rise in some issues we'd like to keep out of the comments. We hope it makes the comments a more enjoyable experience!

Player Options and Net Present Value

Greg Monroe and Eric Bledsoe may be "leaving money on the table" by only accepting their qualifying offer in order to become free agents next season. Of course, Monroe may never have gotten a good offer.

Patrick brings up the notion of Net Present Value. Namely, while two contracts may be the same in total value if you accept less money now, in the long run you may be making less. After all, if Eric Bledsoe makes $100 million over five years, but in one case gets $15 million in year one and in another only gets $5 million, that's $10 million he can't invest earlier. And compound interest is amazing! Of course, there's also risk that Bledsoe's value may drop by the time he's eligible for a raise.

Contract negotiations in general are going to be interesting until the next TV deal comes through.

Patrick has some interesting thoughts about why certain players can age more gracefully (like Steve Nash). Tune in to hear more.

Coming Soon to a Boxscore Geeks Near You!

Patrick teases some new features including:

  • Historical Wins Produced back to the 1970s!
  • Javascript tools to make your own stats tables using Boxscore Geeks numbers!
  • More salary data!
  • Some updated stats unique to Boxscore Geeks. Don't worry, it's the same great math, just with some more ingredients

Tell Patrick how excited you are in the comments!

Shout Outs

Jonathan Weiler(@jonweiler) for his amazing pieces on the O'Bannon case recently. Seriously, checkout the ESPN Watch.

Josh Weil(@joshweil) has a similar name to Jonathan Weiler. And he's also an amazing NBA mind!

Arturo Galletti(@arturogalletti) couldn't make the show. But he has been working tirelessly with Patrick to get the upgrades we promised!


Intro Music - Test Drive by Zapac.

Outro Music - Take on Me (A-Ha), cover by Anni B Sweet.

It would be interesting if you had a post, or tab, on the website that was "advanced analytics 101" where you can discuss and compare the different methods being used. I know you guys reference these all the time in your articles and podcasts, but it would be helpful to see them all at once to be able to compare. When I read an article on ESPN and they use PER or RPM, I generally cross reference with your player tools on this site which are more reliable.
There is a 100% chance that document is sitting in the edit admin tab at 75% complete. I'll finish that bad boy this summer.
O'bannon was never on the cover of the game but was in the game as a historic nod to his UCLA team. My comments on the NCAA and the restrictive nature in North American sports are over at Also, high school sports are big business as well. Maybe not billions but millions.
Love your comments in general. And I know you're pretty darn prolific on the web. Have heard your questions/comments on Short Corner and ESPN Watch, two of my favs!
I also like AndrewSutton's comments and TheESPNWatch is a great website.

This would be a real simple improvement that you could make to BSG with very little effort:

So this (sorta silly) Yo app now lets brands (like Boxscoregeeks) send out mass notifications when something happens with the brand; you guys could set it up do that when a new article is posted, we all get notifications on our phones via the Yo app. I think that'd be a great feature and I can't imagine it'd take more than a few minutes to set up. I haven't really looked into the technical details but it seems like a nice simple idea.
**set it up so that
I thought about jumping back on twitter but I prefer this mode of communication better. Also I done some open mics as well being an aspiring comic. I know I should probably have a twitter to "expand my brand" but I get bored with it so easily. My mind runs a mile a minute as well. On the short corner pod, during the draft prospect crushing the inbox, I had a prospect that was going to make it but never did. It involved a player from the Congo who was the son of this olympic level hand ball player.

So I've listened to the podcast twice and turned over your segment on NPV of contracts a few times. I'll try to keep this comment brief-ish, I think the analysis is deeply flawed without considering:

1 - What is the after-tax income on all of these potential future offers, as though the pre-tax amounts are equal, some states have a built-in tax advantage? A max offer for Bledsoe from PHX vs. LAL vs. ORL would be different animals.

2 - Is there a value of control to NBA players? As in, is there an inherent value to future contracts for a player based on changing teams? Is DET worth less than LAL (endorsements?) given equal salaries?

3 - What growth rate should we really be using for NBA players, and simultaneously, how much are they really going to invest? I would suggest the former is approachable (certainly USD LIBOR is not the right measure here), but the latter is very different - if someone doesn't save and just spends, the $100k per year over 10 years is probably better than $1mm per year (protecting someone from themselves...).

4 - Injury risk. Bledsoe, in particular, has a real issue here, and I think there has to be a probabilistic estimate to the value of deferral to capture this. Even a 5% chance that Bledsoe gets zero or close to it next year dramatically swings the analysis.

Again, just food for thought from another MBA and someone who works in finance with retirement products... but I think it's hard to evaluate the decision without knowing all the details, and my attempt to model this out leads to a large spreadsheet. My gut is Bledsoe is making a mistake and Monroe is making the right decision on the qualifier (assuming DET didn't offer him the max/near-max and/or he doesn't have clarity on the frontcourt situation).

Sign in to write a comment.