Marc Gasol: ‘Stats are killing basketball’
Marc Gasol thinks that your box scores can be a form of fake news.
Speaking with the media earlier this week, the Memphis Grizzlies big man commented on the inherent flaws of today’s increasingly stat-driven NBA.
“Stats are great, but wins and losses matter,” said the former Defensive Player of the Year, according to Ronald Tillery of the Commercial Appeal. “Stats are killing the game of basketball. Basketball is a subjective game. A lot of things happen that you cannot measure in stats. Different things matter. To me, the most important things in basketball are not measured by stats.”
Of course, Gasol is a worthy spokesman for the movement as he’s widely considered to be one of the top big men in the game despite never averaging 20 points or 10 rebounds per game in a season. Much of the Spaniard’s value indeed cannot be quantified in a score sheet (hockey assists, pick-and-roll defensive acumen, screen-setting, etc.), and yet he has still helped lead the Grizzlies to seven consecutive postseason appearances. Compare that to a player like DeMarcus Cousins, who posted a characteristic 27.0 points and 11.1 rebounds per game this season but still has yet to make the playoffs in seven years and counting in the league.
For Gasol, who has been expressing himself much more this season, his perspective is a fresh one in a basketball world where advanced metrics seemed destined to reduce every player’s worth down to a numerical value.