Skip to main content

View Diary: The algebra formula that saved an industry (258 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  I recall reading Bill Simmons's ESPN column (16+ / 0-)

    on Danny Biasone, and being amazed at that formula for how he devised the 24-second shot clock.  From Simmons:

    How did he arrive at 24? Biasone studied games he remembered enjoying and realized that, in each of those games, both teams took around 60 shots. Well, 60+60=120. He settled on 120 shots as the minimum combined total that would be acceptable from a "I'd rather kill myself than watch another NBA game like this" standpoint. And if you shoot every 24 seconds over the course of a 48-minute game, that comes out to .. wait for it ... 120 shots! In August 1954, Biasone staged an exhibition game using his clock with NBA players to prove the idea worked. It did. The other owners voted for the change. Scoring quickly jumped by 13.6 points per team. The Karma Gods rewarded Biasone when Syracuse beat Fort Wayne in seven games for the '55 title, the second lowest-rated sporting event of all-time behind Fox's "Celebrity Boxing 2." Coincidence? I say no. Scoring cracked 100 per game by 1957-58. One year later, Boston beat Minnesota by a record score of 173-139, with Bob Cousy finishing with a record 29 assists. And the NBA never looked back.

    •  Thanks for this comment (6+ / 0-)

      It strikes me that while the computation aspect of the problem can be laid out in an algebraic equation, getting a satisfactory real-world solution depends on inserting the right value where the number "60" appears in the denominator line. If that value had been 100, or 12, the same equation would yield no useful result.

      The real genius was in arriving at the target number of 60 shots per team per game. As for the rest, well, you can hire people to do that :)

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site