Chris Broussard of ESPN wrote a piece with quotes from former NBA players expressing concern about a divide between "stat guys" and "basketball lifers".
"Basketball guys who participated in the game through years of rigorous training and practice, decades of observation work through film and field participation work feel under-utilized and under-appreciated and are quite insulted because their PhDs in basketball have been downgraded," said the former executive to Broussard.
"The [analytics] narrative is hurting basketball PhD thinkers right now," the ex-player said. "However, if numbers never lie, the basketball PhD thinkers have won more championships by far than the uneducated analytics guy."
While there has been a move away from hiring former NBA players as general manager, the recent hires have strong basketball background.
Rob Hennigan played college basketball for Division III Emerson College and is the school's all-time leading scorer.
Sam Presti's first job out of college was as an intern for the San Antoino Spurs.
Pete D'Alessandro was a video coordinator for Lou Carnesecca before working as an agent and as Chris Mullin's righthand man with the Golden State Warriors.
Masai Ujiri played two years in college and six in Europe before getting into scouting and then advanced metrics.
Bob Myers played four seasons at UCLA before becoming an agent.
Ryan McDonough spent his entire professional career working for the Boston Celtics before being hired as GM of the Suns.
"Hybrids -- double-majors in Basketball and Math, not full-on quants -- are the real future of the NBA GM position," writes Ziller.