Mark Cuban Is Outfitting the Mavs with GPS Tracking Devices

Categories: Sports

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The NBA, like other professional sports leagues, is in the midst of a statistical and technological revolution. Advanced stats are helping teams better evaluate players and tweak in-game strategy while new gadgets emerge that better evaluate just about everything. Take SportVU, an advanced camera-tracking system recently purchased by 15 NBA teams that, as Grantland's Zach Lowe puts it, "records every movement on the floor and spits it back at its front-office keepers as a byzantine series of geometric coordinates." Or the Mark Cuban-funded scientific study of flopping, which we're pretty sure fits in there somewhere.

But cameras and flopping studies are so early-2013. Mavs owner Mark Cuban told NBA.com's Jeff Caplan that his Dallas Mavericks will be outfitted with in-game GPS tracking devices.

"We just want to be able to get smarter about our players and how to train them and how to put them in a position to succeed," Cuban said. "So that's just one component of a lot of different things that we're doing."

See also

-Mark Cuban and SMU Are Teaming Up for an Important Scientific Study of NBA Flopping

The OptimEye, as the device is named, is about the size of a matchbox. It records, Caplan says, "literally every movement the player makes, accurately measuring exertions such as distance, velocity, changes of direction, acceleration, deceleration, jumps, heart rate and more." All that data, the thinking goes, will let athletes and trainers fine-tune their performance.

The use of the technology was pioneered in the NBA last year by Jason Kidd, who used it to track his recovery from injury. Once he hit certain metrics, he knew he was ready to go.

But Cuban doesn't want to relegate OptimEye to the practice court. He told Caplan he's considering using it in preseason and, perhaps later, the regular season.

Surely, there's a joke to be made here about helping Monta Ellis' 3-pointers find the basket.

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14 comments
P. Bishop III
P. Bishop III

Geospatial analytics are no substitute for teamwork and passing skills.

ruddski
ruddski topcommenter

Do the players beep when they back up?

Matt A Hale
Matt A Hale

Terrible title, mavs problems were injuries and defense last year.

Todd Deatherage
Todd Deatherage

They need to do this for games away, especially in the playoffs, so they can figure out which strip clubs they are in after curfew.

Andrew Grabbs
Andrew Grabbs

is this what writing has come to, a picture and 150 words?

primi_timpano
primi_timpano topcommenter

Still no substitute for quality players.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

John "I leave every school on probabtion" Calipari has been using this technology on his student athletes for a few years now.  He says it helps him see if his players are truly exerting themselves 100% and he can now prove to them when they are and are not.  Oh he swears it only used as a teaching tool, and not to dole out punishment

mcdallas
mcdallas topcommenter

Maybe put them on Cowboys players between games to help track which clubs/bars/crime scenes they are at?

mcdallas
mcdallas topcommenter

@Matt A Hale ...and pretty much every year except the fluke year.

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