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Nick Young is the Biggest Ball Hog in History, and It’s Not Even Close

Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak apparently wants to see more that just jacking up shots from his wing, Nick Young.  And it kind of makes you wonder: Did he see Young play before he signed him?

Here, in all its unbridled “no duh” glory, is Kupchak’s assessment of Young:

A quick look at Young’s career stats suggests that’s all he’s ever been. He’s attempted 5,418 shots and has just 557 assists to his credit. That’s 9.72 times as many shots as dimes. And that got me wondering how bad that ratio is in historical terms.

According to Basketball-Reference.com, no perimeter player in history has a worse ratio.

There are, however 25 players who are more abysmal if you include bigs. That’s still not very good, but it’s better than the worst ever. Until you start looking at the other numbers. Of the players on that list, Young also has the fewest rebounds.

And that got me to wondering, how does his field-goal-attempt-to-rebound ratio stack up? And that’s where things really get fun.

Young has 5.08 as many shots as rebounds. And, in the history of the league, only 35 players have a worse ratio than that.

The only other player on both lists is Joe Fulks, who played before the introduction of the shot clock.

Curious, I combined the two lists and viewed what I call Positive Non-Scoring Plays per 48 (PNSP/48), which is the total assists and rebounds per 48 minutes. Young’s 6.28 is by far the lowest on the list. The second worst is Ronnie Brewer at 7.04, and at least Brewer played defense.

Then I looked at Negative Plays per 48 (NP/48), defining a negative play as a missed field goal, free throw (.44 per miss) or turnover. I then looked at the ratio of PNSP/48 to NP/48 to determine what I called Ball Hog Factor (BHF — which can also mean bacon has flavor).

In essence it’s a ratio of how often you hurt team by failing to score the ball compared to how often you help your team offensively without scoring.

Dashboard 1 (9)

In the chart, the vertical axis represents the BHF and the horizontal axis is the number PNSP/48. To make it easy, the higher up and further to the left a guy is, the more of a ball hog he is. The number is his BHF.

That little diamond at the tipity-top all the way to the left? Yep, that’s Swaggy P.

In fact, the only one with a BHF even close to Young’s is John Williamson’s, and he produced 28.2 percent more PNSP per 48 minutes than the Swaggy one.

If we define a ball hog as a dude who jacks up shots irrespective of whether they go in or not, turns the ball over and does little else, Nick Young is factually the biggest ball hog ever, and he’s not even getting a lot of competition for the title.

What in the world were you excpecting, Mitch? Why does this surprise you?

If you’re going to make basketball bacon, the man you want on your team is Young, because no one in NBA history has had more hognaciousness. Maybe the “P” in Swaggy P stands for pork?

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