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Activity Number: 243 - Statistics in Sports and Beyond
Type: Contributed
Date/Time: Wednesday, August 11, 2021 : 10:00 AM to 11:50 AM
Sponsor: Section on Statistics in Sports
Abstract #317706
Title: Russell, Jordan, Abdul-Jabbar Who Is the Greatest NBA Champion of All: Using a New Metric to Assess Strength of Their Championships
Author(s): Kevin Paul Tolliver*
Companies: U.S. Census Bureau
Keywords: NBA; probability; championship; Advanced statistics; basketball

This debate of the greatest champion has persisted for decades. Bill Russell, Michael Jordan, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar have 11, 6, and 6 titles respectively. Evaluating their champion prowess is more nuanced than the number of titles.   The number of titles themselves fail to consider their competition, supporting cast, and winning percentage. The nuanced championship, introduced in this paper, is a measure of championships based in probability that is not reduced to whole numbers. Every Finals appearance can have a value of any real number between zero and one. The sum across a player's Finals appearances can take on the value of any real number. More impressive showings count for more than mediocre showings. Getting swept awards a team zero nuanced championships, defeating a fierce competitor in four games awards a team one nuanced championship. All other outcomes fall in between.

Authors who are presenting talks have a * after their name.

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