Plus-Minus

I usually wait until this time of the season to start following it, but I like basketball. I’m a half fan in that I watch the last half of the season, once the various plots have thickened a bit.

One sports story that is fascinating me is the one about Shane Battier, the “No-Stats All-Star” who plays for my hometown Rockets. Reading this feature about him in the NYT has made me a fan. He’s a basketball player after a geek’s heart. Using an uncanny mastery of basketball stats, he has a way of making the whole team better and his opponents team worse. Even though his personal stats are lackluster and his athletics abilities don’t stand out. Battier is one of the most efficient players in the league in value for price.

His only standout stat is Plus-Minus. In other words, the team does better when he is in the game. Although nobody can point to exactly how he does it. He seems to sense what he needs to do to give his team the highest probability of success in each situation. And usually those things he does are not the things that show up in box scores and highlight reels.

That is an example to imitate in life. What do I need to do to make the whole team better when I am in the game? What’s my Plus-Minus?

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