Category Archives: Sports

Academy grads: Go Spurs!

The Spurs have been my favorite team in any professional sport since my fellow Academy graduate, David Robinson (USNA ’87) joined the team, which I learned was (and still is) coached by the great Gregg Popovich (USAFA ’70). The love was sealed during my short time at Goodfellow AFB in Texas, and the frequent trips made with my classmates to beautiful San Antonio.

The Spurs have won four NBA championships in recent years, and are poised to win #5 tonight.  I read somewhere that the team has never lost an NBA Finals, which may set some kind of record if they win tonight against the supremely talented Miami Heat. Sports fans, this is one for the ages.

The cast of characters who have played for the Spurs are all endearing, from Duncan, Ginobli, and Parker to “Old School” Big Shot Rob and Steve Kerr. But the greatest character is Popovich. The man radiates leadership, and is a walking teachable moment.

Most of us have come to know him as “Pop” during his 17 seasons as San Antonio’s head coach, but to friends from his academy days he is “Popo.” Pop seemingly goes out of his way to keep media and fans at least at arm’s length. Quietly, Popo tries just as hard to stay in touch with friends who knew him back when. “I think Popo always remembered where he came from,” Purcell said. “He’s gotten where he is through hard work and diligence. You just love to see guys like that do well. We’re all big Popo fans and Spurs fans.”

That’s from a very nice article by Brad Townend at

Photo HT: Yahoo’s Dan Devine, and his solid article is worth a read also.

How does this relate to Balance? Note our long discussion of the 3-point shot. Note that Spurs’ guard Danny Green has set a record for the most 3-pointers in an NBA final, and there are 1-2 more games to be played.

Lastly, some number crunching done by yours truly.  The Spurs have beat the Heat in total points. Spurs 496 – Heat 481. Trendline is up & higher for Spurs, as well. Three of the five games have been decided in 4th quarter. See the chart at my twitter feed:

Sports rules: NBA flop edition

It’s showtime!  NBA playoffs began this weekend, and our beloved Spurs won, so BofE is happy.

Rules in sports are helpful metaphors for institutions in economics. How does a government – the referee in Chief Justice John Roberts’ description – make sure the playing field is level, victory is based on talent instead of chance, and nobody gets hurt? The sports metaphor lever is being pulled to justify sharing this hilarious video of flopping in the NBA (HT Slate):