The Contribution of Star Players in the NBA: A Story of Misbehaving Coefficients

At the end of the 2008–2009 National Basketball Association (NBA) season, the Los Angeles Lakers were crowned champions. Since winning basketball games and championships is the goal, Lakers’ superstar Kobe Bryant made a strong case for being the league’s most valuable player (MVP). That distinction, however, was given to LeBron James, who led his team—the Cleveland Cavaliers—to the best regular season record in the league. Fortunately for James, voting for the MVP award occurred before the playoffs began, since the Orlando Magic beat the Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference finals.

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