The Boxscore Geeks Show: Yeh! Points!!

We also have the show in audio form (some call that a podcast!)

Thanks as always to our producer Brian Foster(@boxscorebrian)

Special Guest!

Chris Yeh (@chrisyeh) from Adventures in Capitalism joins the podcast today. Chris is a Bay Area "lifer" and works as a venture capitalist. He's also a lifelong Lakers fan and has written at the Wages of Wins.

Chris is also participating in Cycle for Survival, which donates to cancer research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. It's a great cause, and you know Memorial Sloan Kettering has great minds as the brilliant Ari Caroline is the Chief Analytics Officer there. If you enjoy Chris on the podcast there's a bonus. If you donate, you can get even more of Chris' time and expertise. I assure you that it's worth it.

Twenty Players greater than Kobe.

As a challenge I decided to find at least twenty players better than Kobe. I made the test as hard as possible and as much in favor of Kobe as possible. It was still easy to do. As a fun note, Chris' basketball nickname is shared by the last player on my list: Gary "The Glove" Payton.

As Chris quickly points out, I never say Kobe is a bad player, just overrated. Another thing I make sure to mention is Kobe Bryant was an MVP candidate in his prime. He was the Lakers' best player from 2005-2008. He's just never been at the level of other greats like Magic, MJ, or LeBron.

Chris didn't mind most of the players I listed but scratched his head at players like Horace Grant and Mo Cheeks. These players are interesting as they were productive but not great at a lot of skills. It's certainly a topic I might return to.

Such a topic wouldn't be complete without talking about Russell Westbrook and Rudy Gay. We even talked a little about Kiki Vandeweghe, who was an interesting player. He was actually a really good scorer but did little else. Of course, he was the reason why the Nuggets got Fat Lever, who had 43 triple doubles in his time on the team. This reminded Chris of Darrell Walker: "Master of the Triple Single."

Chris ends on a note that Kobe definitely fits the "Lakers mold", which explains some of the love the front office has given him. And of course, we can't fault Kobe for taking the contract he did.

Rebuilding the Lakers

This offseason has a plethora of underrated talent available. Even with Kobe's bad contract we think the Lakers might be able rebuild quickly (a common theme for the team) The problem is that one of these players is already on the team and is not being played! Jordan Hill is a potential stud, he just needs Mike D'Antoni to get out of the way. Unlike Phil Jackson, D'Antoni tries to get his players to match the system. Jackson would work his system around his talent.

Funny note, at the time we thought the Lakers dodged a bullet on the Chris Paul trade. That was before Gasol fell off a cliff and Lamar Odom couldn't keep up with the Kardashians.

Chris does think Kyle Lowry and Lance Stephenson are players the Lakers might approach. It's possible the Lakers would consider Thabo Sefolosha a classic Lakers role player ala A.C. Green or Kurt Rambis.

Finally, the Lakers may be alright with Kendall Marshall as well. In short, the Lakers' demise may not last that long.

The Value of Rudy Gay's Contract

The Kings have a new owner, who seems to be falling for the classic traps. As we brought up recently, one of the problems with any data is that if you ask the wrong questions, it doesn't matter how savvy you are. Another issue is that people new to a field can ignore age old wisdom. Case in point, people like Dr. J, Hubie Brown, and Red Auerbach had a good grasp of the underlying concepts behind some of the better advanced stats back in the 70s.

It's difficult to figure out the best way to handle the risk of getting injured with a future contract. There are lots of things to consider. Chris brings up the notion of pro-athletes getting an insurance policy, which is actually a thing!

Arian Foster definitely had the right idea to hedge on risk. Sadly injury postponed this. Arian Foster is also a great talking head in documentaries like Schooled: The Price of College Sports. He's up there with Mick Foley in terms of being awesome in documentaries. On that note, Mick Foley needs to come through Denver!


Arturo (@arturogalletti) and I (@nerdnumbers) will be at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference coming up next weekend. Make sure to reach out to us on Twitter or in the comments if you'll be there and would like to say hi. Thanks to Jeremy Britton and Zazzle, we've got some new T-Shirts to show off, so keep an eye out!