COLUMN: Jahlil Okafor Worth Less Than A Ham Sandwich

When I was initially asked to contribute to The Longest View, I wasn’t enthralled at the prospect of just another Philly sports blog. Much of my young adult life has been spent failing at getting blogs, Twitter accounts or publications off the ground. Where have I gone wrong? My issue? The takes.

They just weren’t hot enough.

After being offered to join The Longest View as the site’s Executive Curator of Takes, my mind raced. Was this the position I’ve been dreaming of? Will I engage in hot enough takesmanship?

Here’s my attempt. Welcome to the Monday Column.

The other day I found myself salivating at the young core. Embiid’s blocks, Simmons’s dunks, Fultz’s shooting, Dario’s post-game interviews. I was knee deep in watching Furkan Korkmaz YouTube and reading Shawn Long’s Basketball Reference page. Life was good, man.

However, as most good things do with our Sixers, I hit a sizable hitch in my elation: Big Jah.

I remembered his generational post moves and how he so effortlessly rolls out of bed and gets 20 and 10. Sike! I ended up watching that one video of him literally kicking rocks on defense against the Heat for like 15 seconds. Remember that? You should.

At the end of my Jah binge, I cried out in despair: “GAH, this man is worth less than a ham sandwich.” Is that an expression? It probably is. The more I ended up thinking about it, the more I have convinced myself that a simple ham sandwich brings more intrinsic value to the club than Jahlil Okafor. Allow me to elaborate.

In order for my point to make sense we need to first make some extremely reasonable assumptions:

  1. A hot dog is a sandwich. A ham sandwich for the purposes of the Monday Column is now synonymous with hot dog. Last time I checked, the Wells Fargo doesn’t sell a ham sandwich with mustard on wheat bread. Thus, the closest thing we have is a hot dog. Technically, it contains ham, mustard and bread. Checks out for me. I might need to win over Sauce though.

  2. We have to assume that the Wells Fargo Center does NOT use Hebrew National Kosher hot dogs. In this scenario, the hot dogs would be made of beef, not pork or ham. Thus, I would liken Okafor to a “beef sandwich.” Not only is this a weirder term, but then we would also have to lump in cheesesteaks and burgers sold at games. That’s too complicated.

  3. The term “value” is kind of subjective. For the purpose of this article, value is defined as total revenue brought to the team. I can’t factor in trade value because at least to my knowledge, you can’t trade hot dogs. (But if anyone would trade assets for hot dogs it would definitely be the Kings.)

Okay, so to define Okafor’s value I’m going to evaluate his play on the court only. Surely he generates the team a good amount of revenue in jersey sales to both really dumb Duke fans and blind Sixers fans, but I only want to talk about how poor his play is.

I’m going to use the basketball stat of “win shares” to assess Okafor’s true value to the team. This stat basically tells you how many wins a player contributed to his team in a given season. We can then find a percent of the team’s wins that come directly from Okafor (hint: not many).

The Sixers had 28 wins this year, meaning there are 28 win shares to go around. Okafor contributed just 1.2 wins according to Basketball Reference’s calculation of win shares. That’s only 4.3%. Yikes.

Fun little fact, a player’s win shares is the sum of his offensive and defensive win shares. According to Basketball Reference, Okafor’s offensive win share this season was literally 0.1, meaning his offensive game contributed one tenth of a win this year. That is less than ALEX POYTHRESS. Did you even know he is a Sixer? Gotta love advanced metrics.

Anyway, back to takes. The Sixers average around 17,000 fans per game, and their average ticket price is about $38. That gives a game ticket revenue of $646,000 and a season revenue of $26.4 million. Multiply this by 4.3% to find Jahlil’s worth of $1.14 million. I know it’s a stretch, but bear with me. Don’t forget how hot of a take I’m making. I am the Executive Curator of Takes for cryin’ out loud.

Okay, let’s talk ham sandwiches. Last year there were 20 million hot dogs sold for the MLB’s 33 million fans in attendance. Thus, the average sporting event goer eats roughly .6 hot dogs per person per game. Can we extrapolate this data to the NBA? Probably not, but I’m going to. About 22,000,000 fans attended NBA games this year. Using the above statistic, that means each team sells roughly 440,000 hot dogs over the course of a season.

If we multiply this by 5 (which I find to be a reasonable price for a stadium hot dog), we can expect a given NBA team to create $2.2 million in hot dog revenue. Using my extremely advanced statistical analysis, I believe that hot dogs are worth almost DOUBLE what Jahlil Okafor is worth to the 76ers.

My final take is such: Jahlil is worth the same as HALF of a ham sandwich.

They generate $2.2 million in revenue for the team, and Jah generates $1.1 million. Facts are facts, people. And before you ask, yes, I am a stat major. In fact, twisting and skewing numbers to prove your point is the first thing I learned.

This is a pretty bad look for the former No. 3 overall pick. When you see a floundering scrub on defense, all I can see is half of a ham sammy. That’s what he is to me. That’s what he should now be to you.

See you all next Monday,



2 thoughts on “COLUMN: Jahlil Okafor Worth Less Than A Ham Sandwich

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