Jan. 24, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA: TNT announcer Charles Barkley court side prior to the game between the Phoenix Suns against the Los Angeles Clippers at the US Airways Center. The Suns defeated the Clippers 93-88. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
It comes as no surprise that Hall-of-Famer Charles Barkley would speak his mind anywhere, at any place, and at any time. The TNT analyst, who America has come to love for his absolute honesty went on a morning radio show in Philadelphia to talk about the state of the Philadelphia 76ers, and was not very supportive of new Sixers General Manager Sam Hinkie.
Hinkie, who worked under Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey, was hired by the Sixers this off-season is known to have a strong background in basketball analytics, a system that many teams around the NBA are slowly adopting. Unsurprisingly, Sir Charles is not on board.
“I have a problem with the way the Sixers are running their organization right now. Listen, Howard, you know I don’t believe in that analytical crap. If LeBron James couldn’t spell cat, I want him on my team. I always tell people, give me a dumb guy that can really play. Don’t give me no smart guy.
The guy [Hinkie], he came from Houston. When did Houston get good? When they went out and paid James Harden all that money and [Omer] Asik, and now they went out and got Dwight Howard. That’s got nothing to do with analytics, that’s got to do with paying really good players to come to town.”
As always, Barkley’s statements have some validity to them. While the Rockets have been using analytics for over 6 seasons now, they have only made the playoffs the years that they’ve had at least 1 star on the roster(Yao Ming, T-Mac if you want to include him, and last season, Harden).
Analytics will continue to grow and be used with more prevalence in the league as time goes on, but simplicity will always have a part in the game. Barkley’s logic of building a team is well, quite simple: pay for the stars.