Sports announcers current infatuation with statistics and probabilistic reasoning is only matched by their ignorance of any fundamental statistical principles. Consider this passage, answering how many championships LeBron James will win with the LA Lakers:

"Pelton: If I had to bet on one outcome, I'd probably say zero. The Warriors are still around, and other challengers are forming. I still think going to the Rockets or the 76ers would have given James a better chance of winning a championship. That said, the average outcome for James is probably closer to one championship than none."

So this gut thinks the "average" number of championships James will win is closer to one than zero, but he will "bet" on zero. You can bet he won't bet on this at all, and that he cites "statistics" just to look like a "modern" sportswriter who is all probabilistic and whatnot.


  1. If he thinks that the chances of winning zero championships is just over 50% then that would make that a good outcome to bet on. That makes the chances of winning 1 or more just less that 50%.

    If you average out the 51% of zero wins and the 49% of 1 or more you will (mostly) get a number closer to 1 than zero.

    Perhaps that's what he had in mind ?

    1. But no, he definitely thinks the chance of him winning at least one championship is *over* 50%: "That said, the average outcome for James is probably closer to one championship than none."
      Only numbers over .50 are close to one than to none!

    2. Oh yes, sorry, I see your point. He could win two or three championships.

    3. yes, for example if he stays 2 seasons and has a .26 chance of winning each time he would have a > 50% chance of winning zero championships but the fact he might win two pushes the average number of wins above .5 as well.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Central Planning Works!

Fair's fair!

Well, So What?