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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Is the All-NBA Selection Process Biased? Examining the Effect of Market Size on Media Member Votes for All-NBA Teams


This paper examines the effect of market size on the votes for the National Basketball Association’s All-NBA teams. While the All-NBA teams are intended to represent the league’s best players, prior research suggests that media members vote based on factors other than performance. I hypothesize that a player on a large market team is more likely to receive votes than a player with comparable performance but on a small market team. Using All-NBA ballots from five consecutive seasons and Nielsen television market sizes, I employ a two-part model approach to determine the effects of market size, being born outside the United States, representing an East Coast team, and Team Win-Loss Percentage on All-NBA votes. I find that the effect of market size on All-NBA votes is unclear, but Team Win-Loss Percentage has a significant positive effect. Future studies could introduce other factors to the models such as age and race.

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