Fans Pick Spurs as Best Team
Ask any of my friends and they’ll tell you, I’m a big believer in the wisdom of crowds.
Yahoo has a new application called NBA Team Ranker — go ahead, try it for yourself — which allows users to decide, given two teams to choose from, which team is better. A perfect test of the wisdom of the Yahoo NBA crowd, right?
When I checked last Monday, the crowd chose the San Antonio Spurs as the best team in the NBA, followed by the Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks and the Boston Celtics. Eight days later, that hasn’t changed, but it appears that the Spurs and Suns swapped positions at some point, however briefly.
In theory, the Spurs, Suns and Mavericks should be tops in the Western Conference this year, while the Celtics, Pistons and Bulls should be tops in the East. But in practice, not all crowds are wise. What separates a wise crowd from an irrational one? The wise crowd has: 1) diversity of opinion, 2) independence, 3) decentralization, and 4) aggregation.
I’d say criteria #1 and #4 are covered. Everyone has the chance to form a unique (diverse) opinion for themselves, and the Team Ranker is an excellent aggregator. I’m not sure about criteria #3 (decentralization), though, and #2 — no way. There isn’t much independent thought among NBA fans right now — otherwise, explain why the Celtics are rated better than the Pistons and Bulls. All the buzz about Boston is just hype at this point, driven by the league and the mainstream media. I’ll admit it, though — I haven’t been this interested in the Boston Celtics since their big three were Larry, Dennis and Kevin.
Some Yahoo commenters have argued “people aren’t voting according to talent, they are voting for their favorites.” Maybe. But if that were the case, wouldn’t the Lakers be higher than 15th?
The bottom line is: none of this matters. As a Spurs fan, I could care less what other fans think. And just for the record, I could care less whether the team finishes first or third in the Western Conference, whether they win 57 or 63 games, as long as they are playing and winning next June. If other fans now understand what we at SpursDynasty have long known to be true, then that’s alright by me.
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