Just a few days ago, Metta World Peace complained that Mike Brown wasn’t playing him enough because Brown is “a stats guy” and that “stats are for people who need stats.” Clearly, World Peace doesn’t need stats, as he told CBS Sports’ Ken Berger:
“If I could count how many times another team went away from the best player when I was on him, I’ve got to be like No. 1 in the league,” World Peace said. “That’s not a stat, and coach doesn’t … you would have to play basketball to feel that. When Phil Jackson was here, that’s why I was in the game, because he understands that.”
Interpreted for clarity — “Mike Brown doesn’t play me because he’s a nerd who never played professional basketball and doesn’t understand that what I bring to the table can’t be measured by stats.” It’s a very roundabout, passive-aggressive way of throwing your coach under the bus. Very Lakers of him.
But Mike Brown is not to be deterred. No sir. When one of his players criticizes him for being too stats-focused, he just doubles down on the stats. From the AP:
“If I were him, I’d be frustrated, too,” Brown said. “I told him: `I don’t take anything personally. I’m OK with it. But if was a stats guy, Metta, you wouldn’t be playing at all. I mean, look at your stats. And Synergy says you’re the 192nd-best defensive player in the league. So if I was just a stats guy, the guy who should be playing at the small forward spot is Devin Ebanks — because he’s shooting better than you or Matt (Barnes).”’
What a great comeback. He takes Metta World Peace’s criticisms and uses them as a very sharp zinger, like some sort of tai chi insult master.
There’s nowhere World Peace could take this because Brown is saying, “Yeah, I use stats a lot but even when they say you’re terrible, I still play you.” What can you say to that? Flawless victory for Mike Brown.
Of course, even though Mike Brown proved to be a wise zingster, this is still a coach and his player fighting about playing time in the media. That’s not the best thing for a team that is trying to figure out how to win games in a tough, tough conference. But still, when you have that sort of crack in your arsenal, you have to use it.
After all, Mike Brown wouldn’t want to deprive us of the hilarity of showing that a guy who thinks he’s the best defensive player is really the 192nd-best, would he? Of course not.