I'll probably chalk that up as an expert simplifying things talking to a reporter and a lay audience.
Zimbalist has an extensive academic and consulting record in sports economics.
Still...
In the recent Win Shares thread I noted that the last 5 champs averaged being $22 million over the cap (and that is about twice as far over the recent caps as the median spending teams). I just checked the previous 7 years and it was an average of about $11 million over the cap. So the most successful teams in the last 5 years doubled the additional spending over the cap compared to the average of the previous 7 champions. But apparently they didn't know what they doing or didn't need to or didn't gain much from it?
Spending league wide on its own with no other criteria fulfilled doesn't ensure success but other studies could be constructed (multi-variate regression?) that might show a significant plus for spending when other key ingredients- playing, coaching and management talent- are above average (with perhaps the playing talent being judged- in some fashion- before and after the spending above the cap or league average). I would think. Probably ought to find or re-read the previous academic articles on the subject before I say much more.
A quick blog post find, though:
"One key observation… in the last six years if you were willing to spend over $400 million your team won at least 250 games and a trip to the conference finals, except for New York."
http://wagesofwins.net/2011/09/18/how-n ... eir-money/So 8 of 9 teams who spent over $400 million (it looks like only slightly above average spending for the 6 year period) got at least one final 4 appearance. And in fact they got 15 of the 24 such appearances or more than double the number expected for 9 teams if they didn't have some edge... from talent... and spending on talent.
And another:
"Payroll does not explain much of wins in the NBA, MLB, or NFL. Specifically, payroll only explains 12% of the variation in wins in the NBA."
http://wagesofwins.net/2006/05/24/summa ... n-the-nba/So I ask is there something different in the methodology or is there a trend over time toward salary explaining more of wins generically? I'd like to see more about that given that Evan reports 30% of wins explained by spending this past season compared to the 12% Dave Berri reported 5 years ago. There might not be a stable trend, it could bounce around, but I'd still like to know the trend in addition to a couple point estimates of scale of significance.
What is the record of teams with significant "advanced analytic" efforts vs the rest?
How do the correlations compare across sports? Are NBA general managers doing better than other sport GMs (baseball was reported by Berri to have 24% correlation of spending and wins in 2006) and is it because of their managerial and analytic talent or the nature of the game?
Again, I'd ultimately place more importance on looking at impact of spending on conference finalists or title winners than regular season wins.