Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban stands on stage before a press conference, Monday, Feb. 26, 2018, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)
Last week, ESPN reported that the Dallas Mavericks hired Bob Voulgaris as director of quantitative research and development. Voulgaris previously made a living as a professional gambler who bet on the NBA
As he successfully wagered on games using his research and knowledge of analytics and game strategy, he gained popularity onTwitter TWTR +1.16% (@haralabob). There he posted his thoughts about basketball as well as data.
In the past, hiring a former professional gambler to an official position may have seemed questionable for a professional sports franchise. However, the NBA has fully embraced the gambling industry.
Earlier this summer, the league announced a multi-year partnership withMGM Resorts MGM +0.04% International that makes MGM Resorts the official gaming partner of the NBA and WNBA. It marked the first time that a professional sports league partnered with a sportsbook operator as legal wagering continues to expand on a state-by-state basis.
The arrangement allows MGM Resorts to use official data from the NBA and WNBA as well as league branding across its betting platforms.
It’s unclear as to what capacity the league’s expansion into sports gambling played into the Mavericks’ hiring of Voulgaris. According to the report, Mavs owner Mark Cuban brought Voulgaris on to use him “as a strategic thinker who will help examine on-court strategy in big-picture ways.”
His deep knowledge of analytics and data will likely play a role in maximizing on-court lineups as well as player acquisition and development decisions.
I have covered the NBA for over eight years for various outlets, both online and in print. For the past seven seasons, I have primarily covered the Dallas Mavericks.
Doyle Rader is a Dallas-based writer. You can follow him on Twitter @TheKobeBeef.
This article is a reprint from Forbes.com. To view the original story and comment, click here.