HoopsHype Charles Barkley rumors

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February 13, 2015 Updates

What’s your reaction to Charles Barkley analytics debate? Cuban: He’s half right; the Mavs have been using analytics since the day I bought the team. The fun story behind that is I took graduate level statistics at Indiana University, and after I graduated, never thought about it again, and then after I had bought the team, I’m watching Jeopardy and who should be on but my old stats prof. And then a month later, we’re in Indiana playing against the Pacers, and who should be in the stands screaming “Hi” to me, my stats prof, Wayne Winston. I met with him and pretty much hired him then. We started using advanced plus/minus to help us, and it started to help us quite a bit…it eventually helped us come back from a 2-0 deficit in the playoffs against Houston, based on what the numbers said. Putting JJ (Barea) in the mix in the championship run had a lot to do with analytics. What happens is when a couple teams are using it, you have an advantage, but now that everyone is using it, that advantage is pretty much gone, and that’s where analytics has gotten to now. Dallas Morning News

February 12, 2015 Updates

Many have decried the former players' stance, including Barkley's "Inside The NBA" co-host Kenny Smith. The two even had a frank on-air discussion about it. Despite the backlash, Barkley has not backed down from his position, and neither did Malone on Wednesday. "Stop using the excuse about race," Malone said. "I am sick and tired that every time you turn around, that's what we dangle ... Our problem now is we do so much talking and beating things to death. Let's take ownership in ourselves ... stop waiting for someone to come in and march for us." Huffington Post

February 11, 2015 Updates

The Rockets have long felt that Barkley is biased against the Rockets, an argument that Barkley does not dispute. Barkley has said on the air that he has what he considers good reason, believing that the Rockets did not sufficiently pay him back after he took a $1 million contract for the 1998-99 season to leave open the cap room necessary for the Rockets to sign Scottie Pippen. Houston Chronicle

In a recent TNT game covering the Rockets, studio analyst Charles Barkley ripped Houston general manager Daryl Morey and called him “one of those idiots who believes in analytics.” After sharing some of his fondest memories of Sir Charles, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge talked about the importance of stats with 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich for his weekly interview. “We put a lot into analytics. We have a great analytics staff and I’m very excited about things that we’re working on,” Ainge told T&R. “We feel like we’re out ahead of the NBA in analytics, but I don’t think anything has been perfected. There’s no magic formulas. You can’t just use analytics, but analytics can be of value.” CBS Local

Malone may have outscored Barkley by 13,171 points (and Barkley even trails Malone in points per game), but according to more advanced metrics, there’s little doubt that Barkley was the better player. Over a common range of ages (22-36), Barkley was worth about 2.1 more points per 100 possessions to his team’s efficiency differential than Malone (in the estimation of Box Plus/Minus) and produced about 10 more wins of Value Over Replacement Player (VORP). For BPM nonbelievers, Barkley also leads in Player Efficiency Rating (PER) and Win Shares per 48 minutes. FiveThirtyEight

"They say that same crap in baseball, and they put these little lightweight teams together and they never win," Barkley said. "They're always competitive to a certain degree and they don't win. It's the same thing in the NBA." ESPN.com

"The Rockets sucked for a long time, so they went out and paid James Harden a lot of money; they got better," Barkley said on the TNT postgame broadcast. "Then they went out and got Dwight Howard; they got better. ... "The NBA is about talent," Barkley continued. "All these guys who run these organizations who talk about analytics, they have one thing in common -- they're a bunch of guys who have never played the game, and they never got the girls in high school, and they just want to get in the game." ESPN.com

January 24, 2015 Updates

Barkley recently made an appearance on The Beast 980 and the topic of Kobe Bryant and the Lakers struggling came up. The former NBA MVP believes the Lakers really mismanaged how they handled Kobe and thinks the team’s game plan really didn’t make sense: I think the Lakers should have come in with a game plan. “Listen, we’re not going to be any good. Let’s try to get some young players and see who we got going forward. Kobe, you’re kind of a mentor. You’re going to play 25-30 minutes a night. At some point this season, you’re going to pass Michael Jordan. There’s no need to play you 38 minutes. We’re not going to be better. We’re not going to make the playoffs.” They should have had that gameplan from the beginning. In the beginning, he was playing 40 minutes in a couple games, which is just stupid. Lakers Nation

January 22, 2015 Updates
January 19, 2015 Updates

If Charles Barkley is serious about leaving sports broadcasting when his current contract with Turner Sports expires in 2016 (the prediction in this space is that he will ultimately end up extending his stay with Turner) the network needs to think about a succession plan. The truth is no one can replace Barkley, the most impactful and valuable studio analyst on sports television today. But there is a name out there who could have a Barkley-like impact on an NBA studio show or remote broadcast if he has interest in broadcasting as a post-NBA career. His name is Kobe Bryant. Sports Illustrated

"If he chose to do it he'd be incredible," said ESPN Los Angeles senior writer Ramona Shelburne, who has covered the Lakers since 2003. "He's sarcastic, smart, insightful, fearless. Think the player version of Jeff Van Gundy. I'm not sure he's fun enough for the typical NBA pre and postgame show. The guys that thrive there are the ones who always sat around in a locker room after a game, BS-ing with other players and reporters or coaches. I've seen Kobe do that from time to time, but only when he's soaking his feet in an ice bucket. The rest of the time, he's all business … He is singularly focused on basketball." Sports Illustrated

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