Sunday, June 11, 2006
For weeks, I've been dreaming of crunching numbers to answer every Sixer fan's biggest question: How big an asset is Allen Iverson? Some fans even say he's a liability, because he's not a team player, a high-percentage shooter or a great defender. Well, along comes a trio of economists to do the analysis and conclude: Iverson is one of the most overrated players in the league. Apparently this essay updates what they wrote in a new book on the NBA, The Wages of Wins. Many of its conclusions, such as Kevin Garnett being the league's true MVP, fly in the face of the conventional wisdom, like a new foxsports.com list of the league's most valuable players, where Iverson ranks No. 9 and Garnett garners only an honorable mention. But here's how many wins a sampling of players were actually worth this season, one of the economists told the New York Times:
Kevin Garnett, 26
LeBron James, 20.4
Ben Wallace, 20.1
Dwyane Wade, 18.2
Dirk Nowitzki, 18
Marcus Camby, 13.7
Allen Iverson and Carmelo Anthony COMBINED, 13
In his whole career, Iverson has never been higher than the 36th most valuable player in the league, and his average rank isn't in the top 100!
That stat's from an extended look at "the Iverson problem," Blink author Malcolm Gladwell's New Yorker review of Wages of Wins. See also further discussion on Gladwell's blog, where fellow Sixer Chris Webber also makes a list of the league's most overrated players.