The NBA is perpetually in the midst of a debate about analytics, their role, and whether teams and players should embrace them. We won’t rehash it here, because you can go get in a fight about it on Twitter or on r/NBA if you’d like, but during a recent podcast appearance, Lakers guard Josh Hart chimed in on the discussion.
Hart appeared on The No Chill Podcast, hosted by Gilbert Arenas and Mike Botticello (full disclosure: Mike is a contributor to Dime). You can listen to their full conversation here, but at one point, Hart was less than stoked about the analytics revolution across the NBA.
“You got a whole bunch of people that never hooped before doing all the analytics and bullsh*t,” Hart said. “They never hooped before, trying to tell us what to do. We trained our whole life, we adults, we try to be professional about that, bust our ass, work out, do all that. You’re telling me that this dude that’s 45 that doesn’t have an athletic bone in his body is gonna tell me how to play basketball?”
Hart compared it to people telling the co-hosts that it’s like someone who has never hosted a podcast telling them how to do their job before and had a back-and-forth with Arenas. He’s hardly the first Laker to make this sort of anti-analytics argument, as we saw it out of LeBron James earlier this postseason.
The timing of Hart’s comments are a touch awkward, because it hit the internet on the same day that Frank Vogel had his introductory head coach with the Lakers. Vogel, of course, is a 45 year old guy who never played in the NBA and said this on Monday, per LeBron Wire.
“I’ve got a strong plan for how we’re going to play as a basketball team,” Vogel said. “I’m really, really excited about the chance to instill my beliefs in how it’s going to look. Like I said, playing for each other. Having an analytics based approach to playing the game outside-in. Using the 3-point line and the space that creates to open up a really strong basket-attacking team. And defensively building the team from the inside out. For all the talk of the 3-point line, it’s still most important to build your defense from inside to out. The basket is still the top priority, the paint is a top priority but then we will spread out and guard the 3-point line.”
We reached out to Botticello to clarify the timing of the pod, and while it dropped on Monday, it was recorded at the end of last week. So unless Hart can see the future, this was more an unfortunate coincidence than anything.