But there’s another element, too.
Grizzlies executive John Hollinger, did valuable statistical writing for ESPN before Memphis hired him, put it bluntly.
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.