LaMelo Ball What Price Fame?

Ball, though, wasn’t content with just having been a solid player in Australia. Instead, he raised some eyebrows last spring when he attempted to buy his former team. The talks eventually fizzled out. It wasn’t a typical move for a teenager, but Ball isn’t a typical teenager. He has already lived on different continents, starred in […]

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The decline in pandemic sports viewership

It is not mainly about NBA politics: US Open (golf) final round: down 56% US Open (tennis) was down 45% and the French open is down 57% so far Kentucky Derby: down 43% Indy 500: down 32% Through four weeks, NFL viewership is down approximately 10% NHL Playoffs were down 39% (Pre Stanley Cup playoffs […]

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Jimmy Butler markets in everything

You’ve heard of Bubble Tea?  Well, this is Bubble Coffee: In a recent interview with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols, Butler said coffee was hard to find on the NBA’s Orlando campus. He and his French press are keeping his teammates caffeinated, one extremely overpriced cup at a time. “You can’t get coffee nowhere here,” [Jimmy] Butler […]

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Incentives matter, high school college football divorce edition

For a transfer student to be immediately eligible under Georgia High School Association rules, he or she must make a “bona fide move,” in which the “student moved simultaneously with the entire parental unit or persons he/she resided with at the former school, and the student and parent(s) or persons residing with the student live […]

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Those new service sector jobs, coffin whisperer edition

Also known as markets in everything: Bill Edgar has, in his own words, “no respect for the living”. Instead, his loyalty is to the newly departed clients who hire Mr Edgar — known as “the coffin confessor” — to carry out their wishes from beyond the grave. Mr Edgar runs a business in which, for […]

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My Conversation with Matt Yglesias

Substantive, interesting, and fun throughout, here is the audio, video, and transcript.  For more do buy Matt’s new book One Billion Americans: The Case for Thinking Bigger.  Here is the CWT summary: They discussed why it’s easier to grow Tokyo than New York City, the governance issues of increasing urban populations, what Tyler got right […]

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Should NBA referees call fouls objectively in playoff games?

I call them “rule of law” foul calls, because they are in accord with clearly defined standards for a foul call.  In contrast, in the “good ol’ days” referees used to think: “I’m not going to let a foul call determine the outcome of this playoff game in the decisive moments.”  So unless the defender […]

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Why so much scoring in the bubble?

Toronto just beat Brooklyn 150-122, and an ESPN headline for another game reads “Mitchell’s 51 upstage Murray’s 50 in classic duel.”  Toronto is also a team with a sometimes iffy or stagnant offensive, especially in the half court set.  So why are so many points being scored?  I see a few hypotheses: 1. It is […]

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College football is education too

That is the topic of my latest Bloomberg column, here is one excerpt: So far the data are fragmentary, but they indicate that parties, bar-going and after-hours fraternization — not athletic practices — have been the major risks contributing to Covid-19 clusters among young people of college age. For all the talk of banning athletics, how […]

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The greatest gaming performance ever?

Or is chess a sport? First Magnus Carlsen “privatizes” chess competition, naming the major tournament after himself, setting all of the rules, and becoming the residual claimant on the income stream. He reshapes the entire format into a seven set, four months-long series of shorter tournaments, consisting of multiple games per day, 15 minutes per […]

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