Once a player is deemed a superstar, do they receive more favorable treatment from officials regarding the amount of shooting fouls that they are able to draw? If so, does the relationship between shots attempted and shooting fouls drawn remain constant from the point that a player is deemed a superstar? In this analysis, I define a superstar as a player who has either received enough MVP votes to place fourth or higher in the final MVP standings in at least one season or as a player who led their team to a championship and was the focal point along the way.


I believe that superstars receive special treatment and thus, receive more calls in their favor once they reach superstardom. I believe that I will find that once they are deemed superstars the relationship between shots attempted and shooting fouls drawn will not fall off. Instead, I believe that it will either remain constant, within the ballpark (defined in more detail later) or increase in the superstar’s favor. In other words, I believe that the relationship between the two variables will do anything but decrease once superstardom has been established.

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In this analysis I will first take a look at players of interest as they relate to the question and the hypothesis posed above. The first player examined will be used as an extended walk-through of the layout of the variables being measured, the relationships tested and the figures that will help to visualize the findings.

The players that follow will also be examined for context and comparison purposes in a briefer manner. This will lead us to the key player of interest: 2018 NBA MVP, James Harden. The players of interest will be used to compare to J. Harden in an extended manner, as this selection of players share some common ground that may help to provide emphasis on the findings. An example of common ground would be the fact that every player examined has won an NBA Scoring Title at least once.

Ultimately, the goal is to use historical data of select players to provide an understanding of how established superstardom plays into “superstar” treatment in the seasons that follow. This will help with setting expectations for such treatment for J. Harden going into the 2018-19 NBA season.


In order to access the full paper containing the analysis, tables, plots, and resources, please follow the link provided below:




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