(on the right, statistical maven Jeff Van Gundy reacts to a Fenway Park jumbotron commercial for the 2011 Baseball Prospectus. On the left, Mike Breen dreams of an end to all global suffering)
OK, to be perfectly fair, that’s not exactly what the panelists of the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference concluded earlier today, and it’s an especially crude / inaccurate headline in light of former Rockets/Knicks head coach Jeff Van Gundy’s status as a Yale alumnus. From the Sporting News’ Marcus DiNitto ;
The opening panel, moderated by author Malcolm Gladwell, was based on the theory written about in Gladwell’s “Outliers” that says it takes 10,000 hours of practice to achieve greatness in any discipline.
“Tracy McGrady was 1,000 hours of practice,” panelist Jeff Van Gundy, who coached McGrady on the Rockets from 2003-04 through 2006-07, said, per SI.com. “He should be a Hall of Fame player. His talent was other-worldly. He was given a great leg up in the race against other players. He’s as close as I’ve ever seen to someone with a perfect body and a good mind.”
Later in the session, Van Gundy brought up McGrady again. “I like a lot of things about Tracy McGrady,” he said. “I just wish I could have changed his practice habits and his mentality.”