A little less than a month ago, we looked at how geography affected a team’s likelihood of winning a championship. (To summarize, big cities equal big advantages to NBA teams.)
I wanted to follow up on that by looking at whether star athletes tended to congregate in certain areas.
That’s a two step process.
1) Determining a stat that roughly demonstrates a player’s star quality.
2) Mapping out where the top 15 athletes in these statistical categories play.
It’s a quarterback driven league, so for the NFL, I took passing yards per game from this past season. MLB? Home runs seemed a natural stat to look at. In the NHL I could have gone with goals or points, but since assists don’t bring fans out of their seats, the goal totals from last season it was. And in the NBA, it was obviously points.
Here are the results, and in each case, the duller, paler blue indicates there are 2 or more “stars” in this state:
There’s a couple notes on this map. First, as Dan notes in the comments section, I accidentally used the NBA scoring leaders from the postseason when this was originally posted. At 11:24 p.m. 7/11/12, I got it corrected. (Thanks, Dan!) And Wisconsin is green because Monta Ellis was traded there in March. Since he played more games for Golden State last season, I thought he should probably count toward California’s total.
Anyway, the bottom line is the NBA actually does a little better in flyover country when you look at it this way.