When Top Talent Hurts a Team

The Boston Globe:

Should Boston Sports fans be happy when one of their teams adds an exceptional player to the roster? It depends whether we’re talking about the Red Sox or the Celtics. A new study finds that adding top talent to a team is beneficial only up to a point, after which adding more top talent subtracts from team performance—at least in sports that demand cooperative play. This was true in soccer (based on an analysis of 2010 and 2014 World Cup qualification matches) and in basketball (based on an analysis of NBA seasons). However, it was not true in Major League Baseball, where win percentage always increased with more top talent. As an example of the effect, the authors of the study note that despite the disappointing performance of the Miami Heat in the 2010-2011 NBA season, the Heat “won the championship in 2011–2012 when two of their All-Stars were hobbled by injuries, which lowered their overall talent but created a clear pecking order.

Read the whole story: The Boston Globe

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