Not long ago Slam and Freaknick’s Euroleague Adventures was just a podcast waiting to become a website. One running theme in our podcast was an award I would give out every week called “The Casey Jacobsen Award for ‘Why are You Playing so Much?!’” Casey Jacobsen played the second most minutes for Alba Berlin but he produced like a bench player week in and week out. News came out just this week that Jacobsen would be returning to his former German League team Brose Baskets Bamberg. The term addition by subtraction is tossed around a lot in sports but in this case it holds credence.
The Casey Jacobsen Hypothesis
- States that a team will be better the following season after a certain player leaves.
- To qualify for the hypothesis a player must have started for a team and been an impact player.
- For the hypothesis to be proven correct the player’s former team must have a better season the season after his departure, and his replacement must put up a higher Player Index Rating per 30 minutes than his predecessor
The first person that is going to be examined with this hypothesis is the namesake Casey Jacobsen. Last season for an Alba Berlin team that made the Euroleague Top 16 Jacobsen was seventh on the team in points, seventh in rebounds, sixth in assists, and seventh in ranking. These are the numbers of a backup player but Jacobsen was second on the team playing 29 minutes a game as a starter.
Now Jacobsen moves back to the team he led to the German League Championship while averaging 16 points a game in the 2006-2007 season. This is what is so puzzling about Jacobsen: he played so well for one German team and was so disappointing for another (Alba Berlin). The Casey Jacobsen experience is a weird one in so many different ways. Jacobsen was an All-American at Stanford University and has played in the NBA for 5 seasons. He can be a deadly outside shooter and a reliable passer but lacks the elite athleticism to be a good NBA player. This is what should amount to Jacobsen being able to flourish abroad but that is not the case.
Alba Berlin went 0-6 in the Top 16 last year and only scored over 75 points three times in 16 Euroleague games. Jacobsen was looked upon to share the scoring load with the team’s other offensive weapons Immanueal McElroy and Julius Jenkins. Jacobsen though shot 38.7% from inside the arc and 37.1% from behind it. These are awful numbers in a league where good shooting is considered a necessity. Now Alba can fill his spot with a capable shooter who will get open looks from the penetration of McElroy and Jenkins. ***Someone like sharpshooting West Virgina alum Johannes Herber could easily fill his shoes and lead Alba through the Euroleague qualifying tournament.*** (This comment has drawn the ire of some readers, so I felt a need to note my failed attempt at humor. He scored exactly 0 points in 10:16 of Euroleague action last year. George Gervin, he is not. Moving on…)
As the weeks of summer continue I will unveil my predictions for which player departures will fall into the Jacobsen Hypothesis. If proven right the Casey Jacobsen Hypothesis could become a conlusion by year’s end. Stay tuned.