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Grizzlies exec John Hollinger: ‘I guarantee you everyone who’s doing analytics watches a lot more games than Charles Barkley does’

2014 NBA D League Showcase

RENO, NV - JANUARY 6: From left, Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey talks with Rio Grande Valley Vipers associate head coach Paul Mokeski and Memphis Grizzlies vice president of basketball operations John Hollinger during the 2014 NBA D-League Showcase on January 6, 2014 at the Reno Events Center in Reno, Nevada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by David Calvert/NBAE via Getty Images)

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Charles Barkley ripped analytics, and the rebuttals to why he and other like-minded individuals are wrong to dismiss statistics have been swift.

But there’s another element, too.

Grizzlies executive John Hollinger, did valuable statistical writing for ESPN before Memphis hired him, put it bluntly.

Howard Beck of Bleacher Report:

Myth No. 5: Stat guys don’t even watch the games.

Hollinger: We watch a lot of (bleeping) games. I don’t know where that one started. I guarantee you everyone who’s doing analytics watches a lot more games than Charles Barkley does.


Assuming Hollinger meant anyone doing basketball analytics professionally – whether for a team or media outlet or elsewhere – then he’s absolutely correct. Nobody credible believes only statistics provide the answers, just as nobody credible believes ignoring statistics is the answer.

Barkley is often credited for his honesty. It can lead to amusing stories like this one. But I just don’t see much value in someone honestly analyzing players and teams who hasn’t done the appropriate research beforehand.

I’m sure Barkley has watched plenty of games this season. But not only are there are people who’ve watched more, they’ve also considered the analytics behind those games. With a fuller picture, those people are much more credible.