I was reading Bill Simmons’ weekly NFL column and I came across the following tidbit:
Q: Saw your “Best Ball” idea for the NBA. Did you know that Australian Rules Football uses that exact process to determine their MVP? After each game the referees vote for 1st, 2nd and 3rd most influential player in the game. The player with the most total points (3 for 1st, 2 for 2nd, 1 for 3rd) over the season wins the Brownlow Medal (the defacto MVP). Votes are sealed after every game, so the Brownlow is announced live at a postseason Red Carpet event with all the players there. This creates an ESPYs-esque unintentional comedy factor, in addition to a phenomenal gambling opportunity. Who wouldn’t want to get in on some amazing Robin Lopez +/- 1.5 NBA Best Balls action? Anyway, Aussie Rules Football is the best sport on earth, and I’m 100% all-in on the NBA Best Balls concept.
—David E., Chicago
BS: Proving yet again that Australians are the coolest people on the planet. I’m still waiting for my first moment when I say to myself, “I wish Australia weren’t there.” Australia is like the Robert Horry or Philip Baker Hall of continents — it just makes everything it touches a little bit better. Well, except for tennis majors. I still think the Australian Open needs a gimmick that’s better than, “Our court is blue, we’re not on grass or clay, and we’re not in New York.” I vote for cheering/booing during play in all Australian Open matches. And the tennis community has to look the other way with PED use for those two weeks — as opposed to the other 50 weeks, when the tennis community still looks away. Don’t get me started.
This is a fabulous idea. It just so happens that I have a metric that keeps track of every single game (explained in detail here) that assigns a score to each and every player. If I take my metric tracking file and add in a scoring system like the Brownlow Medal for each game (3 points for 1st place, 2 points for second place and 1 for third place), I can very easily tabulate and keep track of this in real time.
What I love about this is that this isn’t a method for tracking the MVP scoring using the stats like I’ve done previously. As of today that model still has an affinity for beards with a lead for James Harden and Marc Gasol lurking and it looks like so:
What we actually have here is a way to get at who can we count on to blow away his peers on a night to night basis. The NBA MVP award is named after the first commisioner (Maurice Podoloff). The NBA Finals MVP is named after Bill Russell. The best ball MVP trophy for the NBA player who is the most consistently great on a night to night basis can only be named after one man.
The Wilt has to be named after the man who had the greatest basketball night of all.
Without any further ado, I give you the first Wilt Rankings:
Ladies and Gents we have a virtual tie. Our first leader, and the total Wilt leader by virtue of more games, is perhaps the most consistently dominant player of this Era. His name is Chris Paul and his calling card is consistent greatness. Take a look:
It’s kinda funny that it’s his co-State Farm pitchman and heir apparent Steph Curry that he’s tied with:
Likely Future Wilt winner Anthony Davis is third with MVP clubhouse leader Harden fourth, the Role Player Jimmy “get Buckets” Butler at five and Super Clutch Damian Lillard rounding out the top six.
We will do this again.