Thursday, March 03, 2005

Why I hate NBA Analysts
By Zach



Anyone who talks sports with me quickly realizes that basketball is my favorite sport. It's really the only sport I can watch (well, maybe baseball) without any defined rooting interest. And I'd like to think that I know a fair bit about the game.

One thing I do know, however, is that the Internet has brought us a slew of so-called NBA "experts" who regularly publish columns on sites like ESPN.com, CBS Sportsline, or CNNSI.com. All of them get paid for their knowledge and expertice. Or so you'd think.

If you've read Sportszilla recently, you've seen me rant about the demise of Mike Kahn at CBS, and his inscrutably credentialed replacement, Tony Mejia. Mejia has no discernable history as a sports writer, and besides, recently published a column on the 12 most irreplacable players in the NBA. Really Tony, the Heat would be in trouble if Shaq got hurt? Damn, that's why you're the expert!

Of course, ESPN.com provides us with two winners in baby-faced Marc Stein, who is clearly more concerned with getting 2 minutes of face time on ESPNews than in actually writing something coherent. But he's better than Chad Ford, or Chad Fraud, as we know him. The last time he got a proposed trade right, Magic Johnson still weighed less than 300 pounds. The fact that you have to pay for ESPN.com's Insider just to read his drivel is insulting.

I'd always sort of considered CNNSI the J/V of the internet sports world. Not quite the freshman team (FoxSports.com, I'm looking at you), but clearly not at the same level. Thus, I suppose I can't get on Marty Burns and Jack McCallum, even though neither of them has watched a game on the West Coast since, well, ever. I mean, in a world with satellite television and TiVo, they could easily tape the games and watch them the next day. Then, they might know that the Sonics are much more than a jump-shooting team. Read this article if you want a good statistical analysis of why the Sonics are suceeding this year (I'll spoil some of the surprise and say it's not just because they shoot well). Or they might know that the Suns have almost no shot at winning the title because their depth is even worse than people think. Stephen Hunter wouldn't be playing on almost any other team in the league, Jim Jackson is a limited player now, and Walter McCarty is a good hustle guy.

Ok, I'm about done with this rant, but my last point would be that all of these guys are rapidly growing obsolete. With the technology listed above, and with the availability of blogging, you can get quality basketball analysis from other sources...no, not me...check the links to the side.

Especially since these guys are all way behind when it comes to modern understanding of basketball. Just like sabrmetrics revolutionized the way baseball was followed, statistical analysis is doing the same to basketball. Check out this site for much more.

1 Comments:

Blogger David Arnott said...

I would like to add that the best part about the last site Zach mentioned is that it is a community-based message board, not strictly column-posting. During the last NBA draft, I posted a question to their old message board and got some great information really quickly.

7:27 PM  

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