LeBron James legacy versus championship-winning

Jun 29, 2018

LeBron James decides where he takes his talents this summer, and the sports news outlets continue to review every scenario as rumors trickle in. Neil Paine and Gus Wezerek for FiveThirtyEight present their quantitative solution, sending James to the Philadelphia 76ers.

On one hand, they consider the chances of winning a championship in the next four years, based on projection models. On the other hand, they consider a more subjective rating in legacy-building. All in good fun of course.

I always wonder what it’s like for professional athletes who have to make these sort of decisions. Much of their job is seemingly data-driven, but does someone like James even care about this stuff? Or is it all by feel? I imagine switching jobs to a new city, and I think I’d look at a few numbers initially, but it’d all filter down to the place where my family was happiest, data be damned.

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