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Warriors’ Jerry West doesn’t see ‘analytically-based’ NBA teams having a lot of success

Jerry West

Jerry West

Warriors executive board member Jerry West describes himself as old-fashioned as the NBA continues to change with analytics.

After helping the Warriors front office put together the team that won the title last season, the Hall of Famer is digging his heels in after adding yet another championship ring to his collection.

“All of the analytical guys that have started to play a big role in it, and frankly, I’m not a big analytical person,” West told Sirius XM on Friday. “Give me the best players, and give me a great coach, and we’ll beat these analytically-based organizations all the time.

“And I know they have their role. I know they have their place in basketball. But I see a lot of teams that follow that line, and I don’t see a lot of success there.

“I’m not knocking analytical people at all. But just give me the best players, and give me the best competitors, and I will show you a team that has a great chance to win every year.”

The Warriors can be considered an analytically-friendly organization. Coach Steve Kerr is open-minded to using the numbers to mold the team’s style of play. Assistant general manager Kirk Lacob is a major proponent. At the same time, general manager Bob Myers is among those who would agree with West that the Warriors are not analytically-based.

“What I like about our organization is we’ve got a guy like Jerry West in the room,” Myers told 95.7 The Game in February. “He’s leaning more towards the old school eye test, which is great. And somebody that’s well-qualified to take that position because he’s seen everything, has played, has played, has coached, has been a GM. So you listen to that point of view. Then we’ve got other younger guys that are the analytical component of our organization.

“When we make decisions, analytics are never more than 50 percent of the decisions. So that would lead you to think that the eye test is important. But it doesn’t mean we dismiss analytics out of hand. We don’t do that. We insert them in the equation of every decision we make. But I think sometimes if you use them to be greater than 50 percent of your decisions in the sense that they’re the majority of the decision, I think then that for us personally, we would stray from that type of thing.

“They do have value,” Myers added of analytics. “I definitely think they have value. You don’t have to feel threatened with them.”

Diamond Leung

  • sunshipballoons

    Um, the Spurs?

  • Vostrain

    The Warriors shot an enormous number of threes this year. But yeah, they don’t care about analytics…

    Better question: what teams that mostly dismiss analytics are having any success?

  • adamsbiggestfan

    Being able to multiply by three does not count as “analytics”.

  • Vostrain

    Yup, because that’s what I said. Shooting a significant percentage of your shots from the three point line and playing smaller lineups to provide greater flexibility on both ends of the floor is an analytically-driven movement. How many isolation post-ups did the Warriors run this year? I can nearly count the total times this happened on two hands.

  • Frozzy

    You might be forgetting who Shaun Livingston is.

  • hwjr57

    The article stated repeatedly the W’s don’t dismiss numerical analysis of players. It’s just less than 50% (ironically, using analytics to describe how much analytics to use).

  • Analytics does not equal small ball. Small ball was used as a way to create mismatches. That’s about talent and coaching.

  • Seriously?

    33% from 3s equals 50% from 2s. Doesn’t take analytics to figure that out.

    Defense still wins Championships and the Warriors had one of the best defenses to go along with their high-powered offense.

    I’ll take Jerry West’s eye test over analytics every time!

  • Jojo

    Spurs are definitely analytically inclined.

  • sunshipballoons

    Right, exactly. West is saying he doesn’t think the analytic teams can win. I say the Spurs have done pretty well with a heavy focus on analytics.

    That said, I don’t think West is completely off the wall. Baseball can be done overwhelmingly using analytics. That seems harder in the NBA. As a Sixers fan, the degree the team is into analytics concerns me. The Spurs seem to have a more balanced approach.

  • ssclesq

    Once we play robots and drones vs one another analytics will be more accurate . But the mind, faith, spirit, heart and will of humans will always be critical factor in the outcome of struggles between people. Remember mckittricks boys (ayers deese, sapolu etc…) they beat the biggest and baddest d lines in NFL history, but were too small, too slow not good enough. 5 Super Bowls prove differently.

  • Howard

    This guy West doesn’t know what he is talking about. Numbers don’t lie. He’s too old and washed up besides, he hasn’t had any real success in the NBA. Just one title as a player, but LOST most of the finals he was in. As a Laker executive, he got lucky to have Magic, Alcindor, Rambis, Divac, Kobe and Shak and road there coat-tails and took all the credit. Was at Memphis for years with no title. Lacob gave him a job out of old man washed up pity, MJax turned the team around which got Jerry mad because he get know credit. West then started plotting with the assistant coaches to undermind MJAx and got him fired. Jerry takes all the glory for finding Kerr who just continued with MJax team to stroll into a title. MJax was the one who got the three jackin splash brothers going based on his G-Money-ballin analytics. Now Jerry says it’s his eyeballs better than MJax analytics. Pffffffffffft

  • MartyCalderon

    Being a Laker fan, I’ll tell you he pulled a lot of trades to get the roster he wanted. He nearly drove himself to mental break down when he signed Shaq and traded for Kobe. He knew what he wanted and made it happen. And the results don’t lie. One 73 win team later and we have a team on the verge of the best NBA season ever.