Writing for the New York Times

Posted on June 11, 2006 by

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Last Sunday I posted a list of items I would write about last week. The week has ended and it turns out I wrote, let me see… okay, none of these.  The week ended and I posted zero new items.

I do have an excuse.  On Monday morning I received an e-mail from an editor at the New York Times asking if I would be interested in writing an op-ed.  Frankly I was a bit more than interested, I was thrilled.  Little did I know the writing would consume my week. 

On Friday – after several iterations and much needed editorial advice and support – my first op-ed piece for the New York Times was finished (it was indeed the “first” and I am hoping not the “last”).  The N.B.A.’s Secret Superstars (a great title I think, which I didn’t see until the column went on-line) appeared yesterday, right on page A27 next to a column by John Tierney and above a column by Maureen Dowd.  For those who couldn’t take their eyes off my words, Tierney was writing about how to debate political ideas with those that are grieving while Dowd was talking about the new power of blogs.  For some reason, Dowd was not talking about sports blogs like The Wages of Wins Journal, but political blogs.  In sum, Tierney and Dowd seemed to be talking about “serious stuff” and I was talking about the important issue of player evaluation in the NBA.

So that is my excuse. It took me an entire week to get 1,000 words written in an acceptable fashion for the New York Times.  Now that it is finished, though, let me once again make some promises that I may or may not keep.  Here is what is coming out this week in The Wages of Wins Journal.

  • First, let me talk about my co-authors.  Marty and Stacey picked up the slack last week. Marty wrote an excellent comment linking Michelle Wie, Moneyball, and Alan Greenspan.  That may be the most creative piece we have posted in the short history of our journal.  Stacey commented on the real bottom line of the NHL’s new collective bargaining agreement.   This week each will be posting again.
  • Marty is going to address the relationship between shot attempts and shooting efficiency in the NBA.  People have suggested that as players shoot more, efficiency declines.  Hence, it is not the fault of Kobe Byrant and Allen Iverson that their respective productivity levels are relatively low.  Marty takes on this argument and finds… well, you will see what he finds.  Suffice it to say, the defenders of Kobe and Iverson are going to need a new argument. 
  • Stacey is going to look at what our research says about the World Cup.  Since we do not mention the World Cup in The Wages of Wins, this should be quite interesting.
  • Here is my writing schedule for this week.
    • My first post will be a response to a column written by Matthew Yglesias this past week which argues that Steve Nash – in his words – is the “Least Valuable MVP.”
    • After that I will get to all I promised last Sunday.  So I will write separate posts on Allen Iverson, Ben Wallace, and the importance of role players in the NBA.
    • Finally, as the NBA Finals unfolds, I will try and offer some additional insights.

Will all this get posted this week? I am certainly going to try. Final grades for this quarter are due tomorrow and after that, I only have two or three other major projects that might keep me from posting at The Wages of Wins Journal.  In other words, I will do my best. Of course, I think I can already see what I will be writing next Sunday.  The lead sentence:  "Last week I made a bunch of promises I didn’t keep…"

– DJ       

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