clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Kirk Goldsberry is leading the Spurs where fans can't follow

The cartographer turned analytics pioneer is leading the Spurs into a new era.

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Kirk Goldsberry has long been at the forefront of whatever endeavor he pursued. Cartography, geography, and now NBA analytics.

Recently, the San Antonio Express News ran a very insightful profile of the Spurs' most recent hire. You should read the whole article, but here are a few of our personal favorite takeaways.

On Kirk's roundabout journey to a job in the NBA:

Goldsberry didn't initially focus on sports. His dissertation was on Internet real-time traffic maps, and he later used similar maps to reveal a community's lack of access to fresh produce or health care.

On his move towards mapping NBA players' tendencies:

His work used spatial coordinates defined in a hexagonal shape, and he highlighted them depending upon a player's effectiveness at different locations on the court. He mapped his findings and created a clearer picture of what was happening. As a cartographer, he exposed players better than opponents did.


Among those who Goldsberry mapped years ago was Manu Ginobili. The shot chart showed Ginobili at the 3-point line and at the rim.

And lastly, on his excitement to be working with the Spurs:

"I'm excited to work with this team," Goldsberry said, "and most of all just learn from them."

Welcome aboard Kirk. We are so glad you are here.

(h/t San Antonio Express News)