Mark Cuban pipes up for Chris Kaman

September, 5, 2012
9/05/12
4:18
PM CT
TrueHoop's Henry Abbott has a post about Mark Cuban defending new Mavs center Chris Kaman in the comments section of the Wages of Wins blog.

From Abbott's post (which you can read in its entirety here):
It's not news that stat-geeky owner Mark Cuban has spent a lot of money on Chris Kaman, a center who is generally abhorred by advanced stats.

What's new is that Cuban's taunting and generally mixing it up with stat geeks who would dare to challenge his decision.

The conversation (which is served with a spicy side dish of "how dare you question Dirk Nowitzki?") is playing out now in the comments of the Wages of Wins blog.

The whole thing began innocently enough, with Ari Caroline sharing a tidy chart of NBA centers who are really effective but don't get a lot of minutes (Omer Asik, Kosta Koufos, Anderson Varejao, Chris Andersen, etc.) with a note about centers who are very ineffective but play quite a few minutes. The star of this second list was the default star of what was once supposed to be a big free-agent offseason for the Mavericks: Kaman.

So it should come as no surprise that Cuban arrived guns a-blazin'. He announces his arrival by trashing Wins Produced, the core of Wages of Wins' work: "Im not a huge fan of WP for the NBA, but its still fun to read the craziness you guys post."

This is kind of a cheap shot. No, Wins Produced isn't perfect. But, as several commenters make clear, at this stage of the game no system is without flaws, including whatever it is Cuban might be using.

The default position of Wages of Wins, however, is that the most important thing in basketball is getting good players on your team. All the other stuff -- coaching, putting players in different combinations, etc. -- per Wages of Wins ... is secondary.

That gets under the skin of coaches and other basketball people who make their careers from that "other stuff." It also evidently chaps Cuban, who has a long-term relationship with the high priest of lineup analysis and ends his first comment with: "Maybe you should start looking at WP for lineups ? Coaching matters. Who you play with matters. Who you play against matters."

Note: ESPNDallas.com's Tim MacMahon got confirmation from Cuban that it was indeed the Mavs' owner making the comments.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Dirk Nowitzki
PTS AST STL MIN
21.7 2.7 0.9 32.9
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsS. Marion 6.5
AssistsM. Ellis 5.7
StealsM. Ellis 1.7
BlocksB. Wright 0.9