— A legendary NBA scout, the late Marty Blake —
A hoops icon, of sorts, has left this earth for greener pastures. As one of the pioneers of his field, this guy blazed trails that have effected the game of basketball in many ways. Marty Blake, the so-called Godfather of NBA scouting, has passed away at the age of 86. Blake has worn many hoops hats, but his forte and impact were left in the world of finding players, evaluating them, and developing them into successful and productive professional athletes.
Born in 1924, Blake worked his way up and eventually became the GM of the Milwaukee (now Atlanta) Hawks in 1954. In primetime pioneer fashion, he was the first NBA guy to draft a foreign player when he selected Manuel Raga of Mexico in 1970, a move replicated all over the NBA today these days. Enes Kanter appreciates that bit of trail blazing.
Blake became the NBA “Director of Scouting” by way of the 1976 ABA/NBA merger. The rest is history. He seems to have been a loved figure in the basketball world, and since we are a basketball loving community here at KSR and all over the commonwealth, let’s pay our respects to a legend. For more, check out this article for a nice profile of Blake. And here is what David Stern had to say about him:
“Marty began his lifetime of service to basketball at a time when the league was still in its infancy,” said NBA Commissioner David Stern. “His work as a general manager and then as Director of Scouting for the NBA first helped the teams to understand the value of scouting. Marty’s dedication not just to the NBA but to basketball was extraordinary and we will forever be indebted to him.”