The Los Angeles Lakers have not been seen as a team that is ahead of the curve when comes to technology. In 2015, ESPN ranked them at the bottom of the league in terms of usage of analytics. Lakers Vice President of Basketball Operations, Jim Buss, has consistently come to the defense of the Los Angeles Lakers analytics department and has claimed that the Lakers just don’t want to show their hand.
The Lakers have beefed up their analytics department and hired a head coach that comes from an organization that is a top user of analytics, the Golden State Warriors. The most recent move the Lakers have made is using 3-D body scanning technology to help their athletic trainers.
3-D Body Scanning Technology has mostly been used by clothing companies to eliminate the need for trying on clothes because the body scan provides absolute measurements for each person. Former Lakers Trainer (and current special consultant) Gary Vitti saw the potential in it immediately according to Blake Williams of Forbes:
“When it came across my desk I looked at it as something else,” Vitti said. “There’s postural distortion patterns. I started saying to myself, ‘Geez this laser scanning is accurate to a millimeter. Maybe we can scan our players and do measurements on them and pick up data points. The scanning is so accurate that it actually looks like you’ […] With one 30 second scan we could get everything we need to know in one 3D image,”
Data provided from these body scans can provide vital information to help improve the health and performance of players. Every team in the NBA is trying to find new ways to help their players stay healthy.
Teams like the San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors have taken to sitting their players every so often in order to keep them healthy and rested for the playoffs. The technology provided with these scans could help the Lakers prevent things before they happen.
The Lakers, just like any other team in professional sports, are just looking for a way to keep their players healthy and anything that can help that cause will get a look.