First Faculty Advisor
NBA; MVP; perception; player; value; basketball;
Over the past few decades the media has played an increasingly large role in shaping how player effectiveness in the National Basketball Association (NBA) is perceived. Several factors have caused fans, announcers, and even NBA team management to have unintentional bias toward certain players. This study aims to utilize various formulas created by NBA statisticians, called Player Raters, to identify how efficient each NBA player actually is in comparison to the rest of the league. Data from the past 12 seasons was compiled and six Player Raters were used to place values on every NBA player since the 2000-2001 season. MVP voting results for these seasons were also gathered and used to quantify how the public perceives the effectiveness of the top players in the NBA. Correlation tests between Player Rater and MVP voting results revealed players who were overrated because of various “perception factors”. A single formula combining the six raters used in this study was also developed. Clearly the application of statistics to NBA data used in this study will be useful to all NBA audiences. It will help fans and announcers become aware of their unintentional bias when judging player effectiveness and also NBA team managers when making important decisions like trades, salary negotiations, and allotting playing time.