Charles Barkley claims four or five NBA coaches called in agreement with his analytics stance
Charles Barkley ripped analytics, calling them “crap” and saying they “don’t work at all.” For good measure, he added those who use analytics “never got the girls in high school.”
Of course, he’s not backing down.Barkley, via Richard Deitsch of Sport Illustrated:
“I think more people agree with me who know basketball than disagree,” Barkley said. “I’ve had at least four or five NBA coaches call me loving what I said. I saw Mark Cuban said something. I also saw a couple of coaches say analytics are a small part of it but a big thing is what Charles said is correct.”
“People like for Charles to be honest unless he says something different from them,” Barkley continued. “People like you as long as you as agree with them. But that doesn’t bother me.”
First, here’s what Cuban said on KRLD-FM 105.3, as transcribed by The Dallas Morning News:
I fail to see the half of Barkley’s rant Cuban agrees with, despite the Mavericks owner’s opening line.
Barkley called analytics useless. Sure, the competitive advantage of using analytics has diminished as all teams adopt them. But if any team stops using them, it would be at a significant disadvantage. That’s hardly useless.
Besides, teams use analytics – like all tools – to varying degrees of success. Nobody claims the Spurs lack a coaching advantage with Gregg Popovich because every team has a head coach.
I also wonder whether Barkley was referring to current NBA coaches.
I’m not sure Hollins’ thinking has changed – and using statistics along with other information is the right way to go – but his rhetoric clearly has, and that’s emblematic of the NBA’s evolution.
There are certainly still people in the league who agree with Barkley’s line of thinking, but their ranks are shrinking. Increasingly, it’s former coaches who think like Barkley and have fallen behind the times.
But if Barkley knows four or five current NBA coaches who agree with him, more power to him. He’s not interested in learning from anyone who disagrees with him, anyway.