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Former NBA Champion Says Kobe Bryant Is An Example Of The Flaws Of Analytics

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Credit: AFP

Credit: AFP

Analytics has been a huge part of basketball in the modern NBA. Plenty of teams have analytics teams as part of their franchise, and advanced statistics have been on the rise. Plenty of people have riled against the movement, claiming that numbers can't tell the whole story of how good a player can be. After all, there are other aspects to the sport than just numbers.

Former NBA Champion Darrell Walker has recently riled against analytics. He admits he isn't a huge analytics fan and has given Kobe Bryant as an example of how analytics can be flawed.

To me, it’s just ludicrous, and I can give you an example. Jerry West traded Vlade Divac, who’s a damn good player for an 18-year-old Kobe Bryant. He traded him to Charlotte for the 12th pick of the 18th, whatever pick it was for Kobe Bryant. Analytics didn’t tell Jerry West anything.

He [West] brought Kobe, he watched film, he brought him in for a workout against Michael Cooper, he watched the workout and said this kid is going to be a ‘player’ and he traded a really good player a couple of times All-Star Vlade Divac to Charlotte for an 18-year-old player. So I don’t know what analytics would have said about that.

Obviously, numbers won't ever tell the whole story. There are other factors outside of the numbers that a player puts up: his skill set, his potential. While analytics can tell a solid story of how well a player does statistically, that doesn't mean that they cannot get even better in the future. Trading an All-Star for an 18-year-old Kobe Bryant is an example of a move based on pure basketball intuition, rather than numbers on a computer.