Charles Barkley went off on a rant Tuesday night in an epic monologue about the use, misuse and abuse of basketball analytics that left the general manager of the Houston Rockets as essentially roadkill.
The money line from the TNT analyst and Hall of Famer came when he called Daryl Morey “one of those idiots who believes in analytics.” What set him off was a tweet from General Manager Daryl Morey.
Best part of being at a TNT game live is it is easy to avoid Charles spewing misinformed biased vitriol disguised as entertainment
— Daryl Morey (@dmorey) February 11, 2015
Barkley was in full froth.
“[They’re the worst team defensively] among teams that are going to make the playoffs. They’re awful defensively.
“Just because you’ve got good stats, doesn’t mean you’re a good team defense. They’re not a good defensive team. They gave up 118 points [in a victory over Phoenix]. No good team gives up 118 points.
“I’m not worried about Daryl Morey. He’s one of those idiots who believes in analytics. He went out and got James Harden and Dwight Howard and then he’s going to tell me that’s analytics? Then he went out and got Trevor Ariza. Then he went out and got Josh Smith.
“I’ve always believed analytics is crap. I’ve never mentioned the Rockets as a legitimate contender, because they’re not.
“Listen, I wouldn’t know Daryl Morey if he walked in this room right now.”
Barkley was making a distinction between teams that may have strong defensive stats yet aren’t very good on defense. Never mind that the Rockets are 36-16 and third in the Western Conference. Or that Barkley’s 1993 Suns team did it 11 times in the regular season and went to the NBA Finals, as Tom Haberstroh of ESPN noted. The Round Mound of Rebound was rolling.
“Analytics don’t work at all. It’s just some crap that people who were really smart made up to try to get in the game because they had no talent. Because they had no talent to be able to play, so smart guys wanted to fit in, so they made up a term called analytics. Analytics don’t work.
“What analytics did the Miami Heat have? What analytics did the Chicago Bulls have? What analytics do the Spurs have? They have the best players, coaching staffs who make players better. Like I say, the Rockets sucked for a long time. So, they went out and paid James Harden a lot of money. Then they went out and got Dwight Howard, they got better. They had Chandler Parsons, this year they got Ariza. The NBA is about talent.
“All these guys who run these organizations who talk about analytics, they have one thing in common: They’re a bunch of guys who ain’t never played the game, they never got the girls in high school, and they just want to get in the game.”
Over to you, Daryl.