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Larry Brown On Analytics: ‘They Just Don’t Work in Basketball’

May 13, 2013, 2:27 PM EDT

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I am no stat geek, no sabermetrician. But I do like to think that I am an intelligent person who is very capable of realizing that in some instances, advanced statistics in sports can be used as a valuable tool in many settings.

To what degree are they useful? The truth there is certainly open for debate. But saying analytics “just don’t work,” that just seems dumb.

Former Sixers coach Larry Brown was on 94 WIP to talk about the new Sixers GM Sam Hinkie and his specialty in analytics. The whole thing is a head scratcher. Even the intro by Anthony Gargano of Larry Brown as a “great wisdom guy” is irksome. What does that mean? Wisdom = old guy who uses his eyes?

Here’s what Brown has to say about stats in basketball.

“Any information you get is going to help you, but I’m not one of those guys.”

Okay so far. That seems to make sense. Sort of, but not entirely.

“Basketball is not like baseball.”

Bigger balls. Got it. Still okay.

“You can use that [analytics] knowledge and help things, but at the end of the day it doesn’t work in basketball in my mind.”

So it helps but it doesn’t work.

Wisdom.

Also, he says Lou Williams could guard guys at the end of games? WHAT?!

[AUDIO: Larry Brown on 94 WIP with Anthony Gargano and Glen Macnow]

  1. jazztafari - May 13, 2013 at 2:47 PM

    the only reason they had LB on the show is so that they could have a caller older than macnow. their “analysis” on analytics is gargano texting his buddies who say hinkie is a stats guy. gee, ant, great work buddy! how did we do with b-ball lifers running things here? rod thorn? doug collins?? all these guys’ times have long passed, but if cuz’s texting boys aren’t down, it must be a bad move.

    Reply
  2. David H in Seattle - May 13, 2013 at 4:31 PM

    I don’t get your premise? That Larry Brown doesn’t have basketball wisdom? I think he’s got a pretty credible background to make comments about NBA basketball. And he has a point that money ball has never worked.

    Reply
    • MathIsHard - May 17, 2013 at 6:14 AM

      “money ball has never worked.”

      False. Many teams have achieved successful seasons by using analytics and finding undervalued assets.

      Reply

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