Elvis of the nerds left the building

Daryl Murray, the general manager of the Houston Rockets for the past 13 years, is leaving his position on the team after a season that began with a tweet of support for protesters in Hong Kong that could cost the NBA more than $ 400 million in revenue, continued a global epidemic of Once in 100 years and ended in a new champion who ousted his team from the playoffs and eliminated the “Small Ball”, Murray was so significant in becoming the main weapon of the NBA teams.

Read more in Calcalist:

Murray entered the league at the turn of the century through the Boston Celtics. He studied computer science at Northwestern and earned an MBA from MIT, worked as an analyst at a strategy and statistics company and generally wanted to be a manager in baseball. But then, as mentioned, he came to the Celtics. The group’s general manager, Danny Ainge, liked the approach of someone he called the “slippery eel” (it’s not clear why) and made it a significant screw in the team’s management.

When Leslie Alexander, the owner of the Houston Rockets, was looking for someone with a new approach to the game, someone who would give his team a relative advantage, he turned to the statistical genius from Boston.

In 2007 Murray received the mandate from Alexander to run Houston according to analytical principles. Decision making relied primarily on numbers and science. At the time, few in the NBA sought to build a team “like in Manibull” – Michael Lewis’ 2003 book that told the story of the Auckland Ice and how its general manager, Billy Bean, built a team with the help of data that other teams did not appreciate or at all Did not know.

In 2007, in Murray’s first draft as a senior in Houston, his algorithm bounced off a young Spanish kid named Marc Gasol. However, the senior scouts at the club did not catch him because he was “doughy”, “fat” and had “man’s boobs”. Gasol was drafted 48th by the Memphis and has become one of the best players in the league: twice All-Star, twice in the top five this season, defensive player of the year and NBA champion. Murray did not have to wait for all this to happen to be convinced that the decision made in Houston regarding the Spanish chin was wrong. She was wrong, in his view, since the scouts ignored the data and saw only the “men’s boob.” A similar story was repeated in 2010 with Jeremy Lynn, who scouts disliked mostly because he did not “look like basketball.”

Right: Mark Gasol with Zach Randolph, in the 2011 Memphis Grizzlies uniform Photo: AP

Since then, in Murray’s Houston it has been forbidden to name players by name. Since then, too, Houston scouts have not been allowed to compare European players to other European players or compare players of a particular color to players of the same color. Murray’s goal was to avoid the trap of making decisions based on “feeling” or prejudice, and to rely primarily on the data. Murray not only looked at data differently, he also started an arms race for new data. He actually invented metrics and was one of the first to use metrics such as True shooting percentage or TS%. At the same time he made efforts to connect all his players to the “Analytics Movement”. In the Houston locker room there are screens with the data of each player and player: offensive rating, defensive rating, effective percentages from the field, quality of shots, etc. The goal is for everyone in the locker room to understand the materials. and so it was.

Murray changed the face of the Houston Rockets and soon the entire league as well. He became the “Elvis of the Nerds” as Bill Simmons, the American sports anchor, calls him. Murray was one of the founders of the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference and in many ways he led the league’s ‘triple revolution’. In a conversation with The Ringer Murray said the revolution was not fast enough. According to Murray, progress has not been rapid even as the players who have entered the league have not grown up in the analytical basketball world that exists today. They needed time to get used to the new geometry in the interval and learn how to achieve it but according to which “now they really like to play the high tempo. They like the interval, they like the offensive”.

All the numbers and data were not for the purpose of writing a book. Murray just looked for the way to play the most effective basketball and along the way influenced how the Golden State Warriors, Milwaukee Bucks and many other teams play: lots of threes, lots of space, little highs that can’t function on the three-point line.

All this progress did not come without opposition from the conservative forces in the league and in the media. In 2015, Charles Barkley, an NBA star and TNT commentator, claimed that Murray was “one of those idiots who believes in analytics.” But since then almost every new general manager in the league is “one of those idiots who believe in analytics” and if he is not, then he brings a right hand that will be “one of those idiots who believe in analytics”.

Murray, as mentioned, is leaving Houston after 13 years in which the team finished with a positive balance in each and every one of them. His balance sheet averages 50 wins per season (640 wins in total). Only the San Antonio Spurs won the most games (701) in that period. He made 77 trades. Only the Philadelphia Seventysickers made more trades than he did at that time (78). Only the Spurs had a longer streak in the playoffs than Murray’s Rockets.

Daryl Murray. A big believer in analytics Daryl Murray. A big believer in analytics Photo: Reuters

He is also responsible for one of the biggest trades in the game’s history: James Harden from Oklahoma to Houston; He has nurtured some of the league’s top basketball executives – including former Philadelphia revolutionary Yankee Sam; Gerson Rossas, Minnesota’s basketball president and the most senior Hispanic in the league and the new general manager of Sacramento Kings Monte McNair.

Murray is not an easy-to-digest figure for a number of reasons – particularly “analytical” and annoying complaints about judges, for example – and will not be remembered as the ultimate winner. The opposite. His teams have always collapsed in money time. James Harden simply “suffocated” in the playoffs year after year. This season Murray – perhaps out of an understanding that new owner Tillman Partita (a man who wrote the book “Shut up and listen to me”) is not really going to show patience to a general manager who cost his team tens of millions of dollars sponsored by China – threw the dice one last time. He brought in Russell Westbrook, made a trade on the team’s only functioning chin (Clint Capella) and built a team of “dwarves” (everyone who played was under 2.03 feet tall).

James Harden vs. LeBron James James Harden vs. LeBron James Photo: USA TODAY Sports

The new formula – “microball” – worked well at least until it met the Los Angeles Lakers in the second round of the playoffs. The Lakers – one of the top teams in the league – simply crushed the tiny Rockets. All the analytics in the world can not help against Anthony Davis – the small ball killer and LeBron James – probably the greatest and most powerful real coordinator of all time. The concept did not fail, it just crashed on a wall of greatness. For owner Partita, according to reports, this loss was a case without. Tillman, who is also looking to save as much money as possible because the Corona has hurt his business significantly, is now demanding to bring in a coach that Murray apparently doesn’t really believe in and also players that Murray doesn’t really want. the meaning? The series against the Lakers was the last series of coach Mike Dantoni as the Rockets coach and Murray as the Rockets general manager.

The Small Ball, apparently, will not “die” because of the Lakers’ success. The league is full of teams that believe in talent rather than height or “visibility”; The league is also full of smart general managers who own sex to be the “next Daryl Murray”. The numbers show that Murray did not fail. The numbers show that he leaves behind a huge legacy. And that, probably, will be what matters to Murray.

*The article has been translated based on the content of Source link by https://www.calcalist.co.il/sport/articles/0,7340,L-3860850,00.html
. If there is any problem regarding the content, copyright, please leave a report below the article. We will try to process as quickly as possible to protect the rights of the author. Thank you very much!

*We just want readers to access information more quickly and easily with other multilingual content, instead of information only available in a certain language.

*We always respect the copyright of the content of the author and always include the original link of the source article.If the author disagrees, just leave the report below the article, the article will be edited or deleted at the request of the author. Thanks very much! Best regards!

These were the details of the news Elvis of the nerds left the building for this day. We hope that we have succeeded by giving you the full details and information. To follow all our news, you can subscribe to the alerts system or to one of our different systems to provide you with all that is new.

It is also worth noting that the original news has been published and is available at news1.news and the editorial team at AlKhaleej Today has confirmed it and it has been modified, and it may have been completely transferred or quoted from it and you can read and follow this news from its main source.

PREV Mohamed Youssef talks about the importance of meeting Al-Ahly and the...
NEXT Farouk Jaafar: Mohamed Sharif is “not an international player”