Has anyone ever watched The Wire? Remember how the higher ups in the police department would get together and figure out a way for their crime stats to tell a story that wasn’t an accurate depiction of their success as a unit in preventing and handling the crime issue in Baltimore? Yeah that happens a lot. Not only in law enforcement but in sports as well. Sorry to break the news but some of y’all favorite players are perpetually jukin the stats…………….
What’s the first place most people go to when speaking about how great a player is? “He averaged (insert meaningless stats here)”. How were those numbers accumulated? Do those numbers translate to winning? Those numbers happen in the flow of the game or was the fluidity of the game sacrificed in the name of a fancy box score? These are questions that need to be asked when talking about stats. Gaudy numbers are sometimes like a pretty girl with a bad personality that can’t hold a conversation. Good to look at but no substance.
Y’all wanna know how I learned not to overvalue stats? Watching “Above The Rim”. There was a scene where Kyle Lee Watson (Duane Martin) was talking to his coach and he said excitingly, “But coach I had 22 pts and 8 rebs!!!” His coach responded emphatically, “AND WE LOST!!!!” He then replied, “Its not like anybody else had a good game!” and his coach retorted, “You didn’t give them a chance to.” Now while this may seem minuscule, it’s very profound. It shows that having a “good game” isn’t always having a good game. Sure, Kyle Lee Watson had nice numbers but if you’ve ever seen the movie you know that he pissed that game away with selfishness, showboating and bad decisions down the stretch. “I housed Montross tonight and he’s going to Carolina. Where am I going?”
Moral of the story: play the game the right way. Don’t hunt for numbers. That takes away from the spirit of teamwork and getting people involved. You have to be willing to forego personal glory in order to put your team in the best position to win. Once you start making decisions based on what’s best for you instead of the team, that’s the beginning of the end. There’s no “I” in team, no “I” in ball movement neither.