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Two good reads

2008 June 25
by Skip Sauer

Gregg Bell on the Sonics trial. The Sonics are making the argument that Seattle pols have been playing dirty pool, which would not be surprising. As I’ve said before, there are no angels in the stadium game.

Andrew Leigh, an Australian economist, opines on the economics of sports. He links a paper by Goodall, Kahn, and Oswald, which studies the impact of coaching changes in the NBA. Leigh’s commentary:

They find a large positive impact: if a team replaces a coach who never played NBA basketball with one who played many years of NBA All-Star basketball, it can expect to move six places up the ladder.

One possible explanation is that a coach cannot push top players to their limit unless he has competed at their level. Or perhaps effective NBA coaching involves a considerable degree of ego-management, and only a former champion can win the players’ respect. Either way, the results have important implications for any high-performance workplace where the CEO must manage a large number of experts. From law to technology to universities, could it be that the best boss is a former all-star?

The paper seems worth putting in your stack of things to read. Leigh has a blog too, which looks interesting.

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