presented a test that avoids that problem:
One sign of a competitive league is when a team that ends the season in the bottom third one year can manage to end up in the top third within the next three years… Basically, you have about one chance in three of having at least one competitive season in the next three seasons, if you finished in the bottom third of the league in standings. Let’s call this “The Rule of 3”… My question: who wants to try this exercise for NFL, NHL, and NBA?Well, since I already had the data I volunteered to answer that question. The following table is based on teams from 2000-2007, measuring their upward and downward mobility three years hence.
As you can see, baseball is the laggard again. However, unlike the graph above, these data show that the NHL is just as mobile as the NFL, and the NBA isn't far behind. If I were tempted to jump to conclusions, I would suggest that this says a lot about the importance of playoff attainability and salary floors regarding competitive balance.