Uncommon Sense

April 13, 2022

Dissing Sports History

Filed under: Culture,History,The News — Steve Ruis @ 8:46 am
Tags: ,

Recently, NBC Sports dropped this factoid on us: “Joel Embiid averages more points per minute than anyone who has played at least 300 games — ever. He averages 0.83 points per minute, or about five points for every six minutes he plays.” They went on to gush “Embiid had 13 games this season with at least 40 points and 10 rebounds.” And, of course, to pump up Embiid’s chances to be voted Most Valuable Player for the season, they added “For 31 games this season, Embiid averaged better than a point per minute. Think about that. It’s tied for the fourth-longest streak of its kind in the last 40 NBA seasons.”

Interesting.

In the 1961-1962 NBA season, Wilt Chamberlain scored 50.4 points per game (including 45 50+ point games, two 70-point games, and twelve 60-point games) and he played 48.4 -minutes per game. (Question: Since there are only 48 minutes of playing time, how did he get to 48.4 minutes per game? Answer: there were seven overtime games.) Of course, he also lead the league in rebounding with 27.2 rebounds per game.)

Now, where is my calculator. Let’s see. He played in all 82 games, so 50.4 points per game divided by 48.4 minutes per game is . . . carry the one, uh, . . . 1.04 points per minute played.

So, how did NBC Sports come up with “Joel Embiid averages more points per minute than anyone who has played at least 300 games — ever.” Gosh, I guess it was just laziness, since the record book is wide open. Oh, it was Philadelphia-based NBC Sports? Maybe that explains it as Mr. Embiid plays for the Philadelphia 76ers.

And the ironic part of this is that Mr. Chamberlain played for the Philadelphia NBA team in 1961-62 when he set those records. Standard sports reporting technique is too refer to the glorious sport past of a city as often as possible, so phrases like “Not since the amazing feats of Wilt Chamberlain of the Philadelphia Warriors has . . . blah, blah. . . .” are the norm, but my guess is the low wage, twenty-something “reporters” at NBC Sports aren’t old enough to have useful memories and aren’t encouraged by editors/producers to check the record book.

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2 Comments »

  1. “but my guess is the low wage, twenty-something “reporters” at NBC Sports aren’t old enough to have useful memories”

    This is a marvelous line

    Like

    Comment by Zach — April 16, 2022 @ 6:51 am | Reply


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