View Full Version : McHale tops Forbes.com's list of top GMs: ESPN.com

03-05-2007, 10:41 AM
McHale tops Forbes.com's list of top GMs

NEW YORK -- The top general manager in pro sports, at least according to a Forbes.com ranking?

Kevin McHale of the Minnesota Timberwolves.

General managers were graded on two things: performance vs. the performance of their predecessor, and payroll relative to the league median when compared to their predecessor. Because winning is more important than payroll, Forbes.com double-weighted winning percentage to penalize a GM who cut costs but also hurt his team's winning percentage.

Using that metric, McHale is No. 1, Jay Feaster of the Tampa Bay Lightning is No. 2, Billy King of the Philadelphia 76ers is No. 3, A.J. Smith of the San Diego Chargers is No. 4 and Lou Lamoriello of the New Jersey Devils is No. 5.

Billy Beane of Oakland is the highest-ranking baseball GM, coming in at No. 26.

McHale earned the top spot, according to Forbes.com, by leading Minnesota to eight playoff berths and a .539 regular-season win percentage. The Timberwolves won less than 25 percent of their games before McHale arrived.

Minnesota salaries have climbed 19 percent more than the median NBA salary during his tenure.

Among some of the other notables, New York Rangers GM Glen Sather is 12th, Dallas Cowboys' owner/GM Jerry Jones is No. 13, Theo Epstein of the Boston Red Sox is No. 30, Jerry West of the Memphis Grizzlies is No. 33 and Brian Cashman of the New York Yankees is No. 61.

Three NFL general managers, Matt Millen of Detroit, Mike Brown of Cincinnati and Michael Lombardi of Oakland, took the bottom three places in the rankings.

03-05-2007, 12:17 PM
This is a much stronger indictment of a purely statistical approach than Hollinger's power rankings. This is ludicrous.

03-05-2007, 12:47 PM
This is a much stronger indictment of a purely statistical approach than Hollinger's power rankings. This is ludicrous.

I hope the TNT crew could address this on Thursday... also would be nice if someone asks KG for his opinion on this!!

Still can't stop laughing...

03-05-2007, 12:53 PM
By this formula, McHale sets the standard
Forbes, a magazine known for touting business acumen, shines a most positive light on the Timberwolves' beleaguered VP.

By Steve Aschburner, Star Tribune

Last update: March 04, 2007 – 9:02 PM
Kevin McHale

Marlin Levison , Star Tribune

Embarrassed Wolves have ideas aplenty but no answers
BOSTON - Red Auerbach wasn't around to congratulate Kevin McHale when the Timberwolves played Sunday at Boston, but he would have been proud. What Auerbach undeniably was during the heyday of the Celtics dynasty in the 1950s and '60s, McHale apparently is now.

You might want to sit down for this one ...

Forbes, that highly regarded, globally savvy business magazine, did an evaluation of the general managers in the four major professional sports and ranked them, No. 1 through No. 98 (GMs with three years service or more). The name at the top of a list on the publication's website (forbes.com) and presumably in its current print edition was (ta-dah!):

Kevin McHale.

"No. 1 best or No. 1 worst?" a surprised Timberwolves player said before tipoff Sunday.

Said Cedric Maxwell, a former Celtics teammate of McHale and one of Boston's broadcasters: "This was national? This wasn't 'Forbes-Duluth?' A guy who signed Kevin Garnett to a $100-plus-million contract? Well, I am slightly surprised. But God bless him."

As Forbes explained it, writers Jack Gage and Peter J. Schwartz used rather limited criteria for their analysis: First, they measured each GM according to his team's performance (regular season and postseason) compared to its winning percentage before his arrival -- and then weighted that double. Second, they looked at the team's payroll on the GM's watch, relative to the league, compared to his predecessors' payroll control.

"The Timberwolves' McHale has been harshly criticized in the press for not giving superstar Kevin Garnett the supporting cast to win a championship," they wrote. "But McHale has guided the Timberwolves to eight playoff births [sic] and a .539 regular season winning percentage -- more than double his predecessor's .244. Winning improvement under McHale has been so great that it offset a 19 percent rise in salary against the NBA's median payroll during his 11 years as GM."

Something about that typo on what should be "berth" might make a reader question Forbes' sports acumen. Also, at one point, even Gage and Schwartz seem to hint that something is unusual about their list, because one subhead in the article reads: "Our rankings surely will raise some eyebrows."

McHale, who attended the funeral of former Celtics guard Dennis Johnson on Friday, could not be reached for comment. He still was on the West Coast scouting college games, Wolves spokesman Mike Cristaldi said.

Among McHale's fellow NBA general managers, Detroit's Joe Dumars is No. 15, Memphis' widely respected Jerry West is 33, Indiana's Larry Bird is 36 and Dallas' Donnie Nelson is 40. Boston's Danny Ainge, another former Celtic, is ranked 92nd, six spots from the bottom.

McHale's ranking also dwarfs that of the Twin Cities' other sports executives. Twins General Manager Terry Ryan is at 53, the Vikings' Rob Brzezinski at 72 and Wild boss Doug Risebrough at 88.

Steve Aschburner • saschburner@startribune.com

03-05-2007, 02:07 PM
This is a much stronger indictment of a purely statistical approach than Hollinger's power rankings. This is ludicrous.


03-05-2007, 02:30 PM
What a quote by that Timberwolves player! Wow!