Ex-Lakers coach Byron Scott drops Stephen Curry truth bomb on how analytics ‘ruined the game’
The Golden State Warriors added another championship under their belt in the 2021-22 NBA season. It’s further vindication of the new age that Stephen Curry brought on the league at large, empowering players to shoot the three-ball knowing that it’s statistically a good shot to take – and more importantly, a shot that champions can rely on. But former Los Angeles Lakers head coach and player Byron Scott isn’t so happy about the change that’s affected the entire league.
In a recent appearance on the ‘Getcha Popcorn Ready’ podcast hosted by Terrell Owens and Matthew Hatchette, the ex-Lakers coach went off after being asked if he felt that the modern analytics movement “ruined the game”:
Via fubo Sports:
“Absolutely. I really started to see a change when I got to the Lakers as a coach because they used that so much as a weapon, ‘well, the analytics tells us..’ I understand the analytics. You’ve got to shoot more threes. But you can’t more threes if you have guys that can’t shoot. I said, ‘So what does that analytics telling you?'”
It’s hard to blame Byron Scott for feeling frustrated during his two-year stint as the Lakers head honcho. The prerogative to take more threes was still a fairly new concept from 2014-2016 and pushed teams that clearly didn’t have the personnel to play like Steph Curry and the Warriors to attempt to do such, with rather mixed results.
The Lakers were dead last in three-point shooting during the 2015-16 season and didn’t have any rotation players that even sniffed the 40 percent rate that top threats of today shoot at.
“If I’m in Golden State, hell yeah analytics. I got Klay Thompson. I got Stephen Curry. As a coach I don’t need that. I know these guys can shoot. I think it’s just giving some of the nerds, so to speak, in the world a place in the NBA when they wouldn’t have had a place because of the numbers.”
Still, calling the analytics movement one simply spearheaded by “nerds” is pretty harsh. While Byron Scott is right in that blindly obeying analytics won’t bring you the best results, which is happened with his Lakers nearly a decade ago, it’s still a helpful tool to help maximize the players you do have and find the right ones for the style your team wants to play.