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Charlotte’s scouting database is better than yours. Way better.

Jun 24, 2012, 1:01 PM EDT

Rich Cho AP

Bobcats GM Rich Cho comes at his job differently than the other 29 guys who have these gigs. Cho was an engineer for Boeing who left that to attend Pepperdine law school, then parlayed that into a job with the Sonics.

One of his big projects with the Bobcats has been create a comprehensive player data base that revolutionizes how the franchise can research players. At the heart of that database are changes in how the Bobcats evaluate their talent and scout other players. The Charlotte Observer as a fantastic look at it. It took six months, six figures and three full-time people to put the database together.

It’s going to be put to the test in the next few weeks as the Bobcats head into the first draft under Cho, followed by a free agency period where the team will try to rebuild a roster that was a historically bad 7-59 last season.

This scouting database was put in a secure online place and has more than 50,000 pages, reports the Observer.

You can instantly look up year-by-year statistics for Boston Celtics great Bill Russell … or any other player in NBA history. You can check the injury archive of a Slovenian playing in the Spanish league or whether a forward in the Development League was ever busted for drugs….

Cho’s system has all the basics you’d expect: Player contracts, statistics that can be used to compare Bobcats players’ development to others’, any potential bonuses that could complicate trade discussions.

That’s all handy, but thanks to a number of invaluable Web sites — Basketball-Reference, DraftExpress and more — you and I also can find that information. The Bobcats database makes it more convenient, but it’s not unheard of information.

What separates it is how Cho used this to change how the Bobcats do their scouting reports (all of which also is on the database).

(Cho) didn’t like the standard practice of rating a player’s shooting or dribbling 1 through 10, because one scout’s eight was another scout’s six. So he came up with a nine-level system with labels, descriptions and examples, for scouts to use as a guide. The rankings: Franchise, Core, Top starter, Starter, Key reserve, Reserve, Roster, Minor-league, No-Bobcat.

There are fewer than 10 current NBA players graded as “franchise.” As Cho described, “we’re talking about players who can change the caliber of a team.” At the other end, Cho describes a “No-Bobcat” as a player whose talent falls far short of NBA-caliber or who’s behavior is so egregious it can’t be tolerated.

Go read the entire story. This alone certainly will not change the fortunes of the Bobcats — it’s a tool, and in the end what really matters is your skill in using that tool. There were guys with a hammer and a chisel that created chairs 300 years ago that are works of art and still function today, there are guys today with laser cutting lines on power saws that create schlock. The tools alone are not enough.

But it’s a step. It’s building a foundation that can help make better decisions, and that’s where turning the Bobcats around starts.

  1. bestcoastinfluence - Jun 24, 2012 at 1:10 PM

    The Bobcats are full of “roster” and “minor-league” guys. Which is why they are so terrible.

  2. zblott - Jun 24, 2012 at 1:19 PM

    As the article says, all of this info is available online to anyone, and it’s really not that complicated to find what you want. The fact that the Bobcats used this amazing system to downgrade Boris Diaw to non-Bobcat during their worst season ever, and the Spurs quickly found a way to make him a starter on a killer team (not long after he was an integral piece of the Suns’ great run a few years ago) really makes me question if their system is worth a damn. If they take Drummond or Barnes with the second pick, we’ll know for sure.

    • ss3walkman - Jun 24, 2012 at 2:21 PM

      As it says in the article “Cho didn’t like the standard practice of rating a player’s shooting or dribbling 1 through 10, because one scout’s eight was another scout’s six. So he came up with a nine-level system”

      Cho wasn’t around when the system originally was being used and not around when they had Diaw.

      Cho has “upgrade” the way the system is used.

      • zblott - Jun 24, 2012 at 2:28 PM

        Cho has been the team’s GM for over a year, so I guarantee you he was with Charlotte when they cut Diaw 3 months ago.

    • tjapanther - Jun 24, 2012 at 4:50 PM

      Zblott, that is a very silly post. if you knew anything about the Diaw situation you would know that he didn’t want to play for the bobcats, He came into camp 25 pounds over weight. After you played himself in the Dog house he made a agreement with the bobcats to get released. He lost 25 pounds and started to try to play basketball with the Spurs ( With his Good Friend Tony Parker). Please don’t post information if you don’t know what you are talking about. Diaw was one of the reasons the bobcats had a awful season.

    • someidiotfromouthereintheprojects - Jun 24, 2012 at 6:31 PM

      as bad as the bobcats were, diaw was worse than anyone on the roster; more useless to the team than the D-leaguers they brought up. diaw was a larry brown guy; when he turned the bobcats into an island of misfit toys only to get swept in the first round of the playoffs by orlando a few years ago.

      hate on the bobcats all day if you like (even incorrectly if need be), but it’s way too early to start dismissing rich cho– boris diaw is an oddball who fits in a strong system with the spurs, and cho is just beginning to have a chance to implement a new system. shipping off diaw was a serious addition by subtraction for the bobcats.

    • sham13ert - Jun 25, 2012 at 10:49 AM

      It’s Boris Diaw. Who cares?

      His production fell off a cliff under Silas. So what use do they have for him? Especially when he’s 9 mil on the books. He was averaging 6 pts, 5 rbs, and 2 ast through the playoffs. Not exactly “Starter” material for a bobcats team that had the worst defense and worst offense in the league….

  3. frank433 - Jun 24, 2012 at 1:19 PM

    I like hoe Minor-league is listed before No-Bobcat

  4. tigers182 - Jun 24, 2012 at 1:25 PM

    It was just reported the Jordan traded this data based system to Orlando for Gilbert Arenas, the gave Arenas a max deal.

  5. boilerup1869 - Jun 24, 2012 at 2:24 PM

    Sounds like MJ just watched Moneyball for the first time and wants Rich Cho to be his little Billy Beane.

  6. scoregasmic - Jun 24, 2012 at 2:29 PM

    He wasn’t around when they cut diaw

  7. chitownjeff - Jun 24, 2012 at 3:07 PM

    hey “funny guy” Arenas was sitting on the Memphis bench last year..not Orlando…so many frustrated onion wannabees online..

  8. bparmalee - Jun 24, 2012 at 5:57 PM

    The fact is he can’t do any worse than his predecessors but we will see if he has the final say. You can have all of the data on the players you want but at the end of the day if MJ can just “go with his gut” it won’t make a difference. This article doesn’t have the one piece of information the 10 Bobcats fans really want to know “Who makes the final decision on who to draft and what trades to accept?” If it’s still MJ then no system that’s put in place will stop him from picking bad players or constant cost cutting.

  9. bobcats116a - Jun 24, 2012 at 6:24 PM

    Zblot I don’t think anyone who watched Diaw play for the cats last year wonders why the cat rid them self of Diaw. He quit on the team. He played a good game in NY and said he played because there were French fans present. Diaw played so bad for the cats that they could not trade him and were forced to cut him.

    Realize that MJ still had to pay him, and as cheap as he is he still ok’d cutting Diaw. Watch games before you comment.

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