Marvin Webster Passes Away

Posted on April 9, 2009 by


Yesterday Richard Goldstein – of the New York Times – reported that Marvin Webster has passed away at the age of 56.  For those unfamiliar with NBA history, Webster – a.k.a. the Human Eraser – led the Seattle Supersonics to the 1978 NBA Finals.  He then signed with the New York Knicks only to have injuries significantly limit his productivity.

In August of 2007 I posted the following two stories on Webster and the Sonics. 

The Story of the Human Eraser

How to Lose Your Best Player and Win a Title

These columns report that Webster was a top ten center (in Wins Produced) in 1977-78 and the leading producer on wins on a team that lost in the NBA Finals in seven games.  As noted, though, injuries curtailed both Webster’s productivity in New York and the memory people have of his game.   

For even more on this story I recommend a heart-wrenching review of Webster’s career and life by Peter Nussbaum at Supersonicsoul.

And there is even more from Andrew Feinstein at Denver Stiffs (Webster began his career with Denver in the ABA).

– DJ

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Our research on the NBA was summarized HERE.

The Technical Notes at provides substantially more information on the published research behind Wins Produced and Win Score

Wins Produced, Win Score, and PAWSmin are also discussed in the following posts:

Simple Models of Player Performance

Wins Produced vs. Win Score

What Wins Produced Says and What It Does Not Say

Introducing PAWSmin — and a Defense of Box Score Statistics

Finally, A Guide to Evaluating Models contains useful hints on how to interpret and evaluate statistical models.