Strike While the Hand is Hot


Manage episode 278676158 series 1757600
By WGBH. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

You might not think that a simulation meant for kids could change how something plays out in real life, but in the 1990s, the arcade game NBA Jam did exactly that. One feature of the game allowed players to be “on fire.” The more a player scored, the higher chance he or she had of scoring again.

Fast forward to today and you can’t escape the concept of a hot streak, or a “hot hand”' as it’s called in basketball. Athletes swear by it, even refusing to touch another player’s “hot” hand. But is a hot streak as real as some people believe it to be?

Ben Cohen, a sports writer for The Wall Street Journal and author of “The Hot Hand: The Mystery and Science of Streaks,” argues that the idea of a hot hand is very real — and it isn’t exclusive to basketball either.

632 episodes