"System" Players: The More The Better

“System players” are generally defined as those whose success is attributed more to circumstances and communal good fortune than to individual ability or competence. The term is problematic, however, because in team sports it can be extremely difficult to evaluate a player independent of how he/she operates within a particular scheme.  Every athlete is effectively a “system player” even the ones who allegedly “elevate those around them”. Some systems just allow players to better enhance collective performance than others. Granted, certain players exercise unique gifts irrespective of their environment. Talent evaluation in sport is often a crapshoot though because it is not a controlled experiment.

Look at the upcoming NFL Draft. It’s an educated guessing game with a lot of money on the line.

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