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COLUMN

Happytown

Gov. Rick Scott crashes a gun range, state Republicans play a game of legislative chicken and wouldn't everything be better in the NBA (or otherwise) with an electronic whip? We've got that whip appeal, baby.

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Using a complex formula that calculates a player’s worth based on team wins and individual statistics – each “win share” is worth $1.47 million – Post reporter Evan Dunlap took an economic magnifying class to the Magic. After some serious math (formula No. 3: marginal offense equals points produced minus 0.92, times league points per possession, times offensive possessions, duh), he found that most Magic stars weren’t earning their keep. The worst by far was Gilbert Arenas, the gun-toting former Washington Wizards guard, whom the Magic paid $12.1 million last year for only $294,000 worth of production, an overpayment of just over 666 percent. Even heartthrob J.J. Redick wasn’t earning his keep, though he was only overpaid by $635,000, which is the measly aggregate living wage for the salaries of 32 single guys living in Orange County, but who don’t play in the NBA. Worst of all, the team’s foundation, its rock, its magnificent shoulders – “Delicious Dwight” Howard – was actually shortchanged $4.5 million last year. Is there no justice? And does no one else call him Delicious Dwight?

The Post’s analysis got us thinking: If the NBA players’ union ceases to exist and team owners seize absolute, unquestionable, withering power, players could eventually be subjected to a performance-based pay scale.The many disappointments of Gilbert Arenas could be tracked in real time by a meter looming ominously on the Jumbotron, or better yet, embedded into the cushion of his assigned bench seat.

Now that we’ve got you thinking (and drooling), team owners, you’d be wise to head to Disneyland and take a gander at the “electronic whip” for inspiration. That’s the colloquial name for a ceiling-mounted display that measures the productivity of Disney’s laundry workers, as initially reported on Oct. 19 by Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez. It was while investigating a labor dispute between Disneyland and its hotel workers union when Lopez stumbled upon the whip. “[T]he monitor might show that S. Lopez is working at an efficiency rate of 37 percent of expected production,” Lopez wrote. “The screen displays the names of several coworkers at once, with ‘efficiency’ numbers in green for those near or above 100 percent of the expected pace, and red numbers for those who aren’t as fast.” Lopez writes that this system is also used in Disney’s Florida resort, though Disney World spokeswoman Marilyn Waters denies the Timesreporting, saying that Central Florida doesn’t utilize the same whip appeal. Better start cracking that whip!

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