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Brooks Wilson's Economics Blog: NBPA and Kevin Murphy

Thursday, November 17, 2011

NBPA and Kevin Murphy

Steve Aschburner does an excellent job interviewing Kevin Murphy, an economist from the University of Chicago who has been hired to advise the National Basketball Players Association (“Renowned economist Murphy lends smarts to NBPA's cause”).  I wonder how many hours he prepared for the interview and if in part that preparation was motivated by the fear of sounding foolish by asking a world class economist bad questions.

How good is Murphy?  Aschburner quotes Steve Levitt, a John Bates Clark Award winner and the author of Freakonomics who said

Kevin is far and away the smartest guy in the field.  Not only is he widely regarded as the smartest economist on Earth, but he can also fix your refrigerator.

If you are a fan of the NBA and economics you should read the entire article but I have included an answer to one question as a teaser. Where do you see this landing?

KM: Ultimately what it comes down to is, you get what you can negotiate. It's not what you deserve, what's "right," that ends up carrying the day. But then they ought to be straight up. They ought to say, "We've got the ability to negotiate. We'll hold your feet to the fire and get what we can."

The one thing I don't want to see happen: I don't want to see any lingering bad blood between the two sides. That's not good either. You run the risk that, if it gets too personal, that creates its own set of frictions going forward. I think people on both sides are cognizant of that.

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