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date: 28 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article explores the several empirical attempts to quantify the productivity of National Basketball Association (NBA) players, and argues that models should be judged both on the consistency of the measures through time and on the correlation with winning percentages. The scoring models have a good job of explaining player salary. It also appears to be quite consistent over time. The plus-minus approach can explain wins. Wins Produced and Win Shares seem to trump the scoring models or the plus-minus models. Although research in basketball is not without its challenges, the performance metrics the researcher can employ in basketball might be the best player data available in the study of professional team sports.

Keywords: National Basketball Association, productivity, winning percentages, scoring models, player salary

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