Tuesday, February 17, 2009

MoneyBall On The Court

Micheal Lewis, of MoneyBall fame, took a look at the NBA and one of it's unheralded, silent superstars, Shane Battier in a piece for the NYT Magazine last Sunday.

If you like Lewis and are intellectually interested in sports (ie you follow stats and play in a fantasy league) you'll enjoy the read. Even if you just like interesting things or just like sports you'll be happy to have read it...

In the statistically insignificant sample of professional athletes I’ve come to know a bit, two patterns have emerged. The first is, they tell you meaningful things only when you talk to them in places other than where they have been trained to answer questions. It’s pointless, for instance, to ask a basketball player about himself inside his locker room. For a start, he is naked; for another, he’s surrounded by the people he has learned to mistrust, his own teammates. The second pattern is the fact that seemingly trivial events in their childhoods have had huge influence on their careers. A cleanup hitter lives and dies by a swing he perfected when he was 7; a quarterback has a hitch in his throwing motion because he imitated his father. Here, in the Detroit Country Day School library, a few yards from the gym, Battier was back where he became a basketball player. And he was far less interested in what happened between him and Kobe Bryant four months ago than what happened when he was 12.

No comments:

Post a Comment