Skip to content

Marty Blake, “godfather” of NBA scouting, dies

Apr 8, 2013, 8:26 AM EDT

Marty Blake Getty Images

In today’s world of the Internet and video, if a guy can play we find out about him no matter what small college he attended. But there was a time that if you were Karl Malone at Louisiana Tech or Scottie Pippen from Central Arkansas you could get missed.

But Marty Blake, the NBA’s long time director of scouting, found those guys and many others and made sure teams knew. He discovered a lot of national and international talent.

Blake passed away Sunday in Atlanta at the age of 86.

“Marty began his lifetime of service to basketball at a time when the league was still in its infancy,” said NBA Commissioner David Stern in a statement. “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.”

Blake was the general manager for the Milwaukee Hawks back in 1954 and followed that franchise to St. Louis then Atlanta. After leaving the role of GM he had a consulting service but was quickly snapped up as the league’s official director of scouting. In that role he started the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament and the NBA Pre-draft Combine, both key talent evaluation settings that still go on today.

In 2005 he was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. He retired a couple years ago.

Blake is survived by his wife of more than 50 years, Marcia Blake; his three adult children, Eliot Blake, Sarah Blake and Ryan Blake, and five grandchildren. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.

Latest Posts
  1. Shelly Sterling says Donald Sterling backed sale until last minute

    Jul 10, 2014, 8:59 PM EDT

    Shelly Sterling Shelly Sterling

    Closing arguments are set for July 28, so no quick end to this.

  2. Report: Isaiah Thomas meets with Suns on Thursday

    Jul 10, 2014, 7:35 PM EDT

    Cleveland Cavaliers  v Sacramento Kings Getty Images

    The Suns already have a deep backcourt, but Thomas would fit their offense.

  3. Shabazz Napier alley-oop to James Ennis, this could be Miami’s offense next season (VIDEO)

    Jul 10, 2014, 6:50 PM EDT

    Shabazz Napier, Peyton Siva AP

    This will either be the garbage-time sideshow for Miami next season, or the lone bastion of hope for the future of what remains of Heat fans.

  4. Phil Jackson says he has not heard from Carmelo, has tried to recruit Gasol

    Jul 10, 2014, 5:59 PM EDT

    Phil Jackson

    Like everyone else, Phil Jackson is in a holding pattern.

  5. People gathering at LeBron’s house in Ohio because… I got nothing

    Jul 10, 2014, 5:40 PM EDT

    Why would you show up to LeBron’s empty house?

  6. Blazers’ C.J. McCollum has advice for incoming NBA rookies

    Jul 10, 2014, 4:16 PM EDT

    CJ McCollum AP

    “Instead of thinking of reasons why your coach should be playing you, honestly assess reasons as to why he isn’t.”

  7. Report: Trail Blazers signing Steve Blake

    Jul 10, 2014, 1:02 PM EDT

    Chicago Bulls v Portland Trail Blazers Getty Images

    Signing likely signals end of Mo Williams’ time in Portland

  8. Report: Timberwolves interested in signing Evan Turner

    Jul 10, 2014, 12:33 PM EDT

    Indiana Pacers v Washington Wizards Getty Images

    The market for Evan Turner has been a bit dry. To put it kindly.

  9. Jusuf Nurkic reportedly joining Nuggets this season after all

    Jul 10, 2014, 12:02 PM EDT

    Denver’s first-round pick, acquired from Bulls, won’t spend another year in Europe

  10. Wizards flirt with Luol Deng, trying to make Trevor Ariza jealous

    Jul 10, 2014, 11:15 AM EDT

    Chicago Bulls v Washington Wizards - NBA Global Games Rio 2013 Getty Images

    Washington reportedly refusing to pay Ariza more than $9 million per year

  11. A very interesting rationale for predicting LeBron James to the Cavaliers

    Jul 10, 2014, 10:15 AM EDT

    Cleveland Cavaliers v Miami Heat Cleveland Cavaliers v Miami Heat

    LeBron’s website reportedly has an interesting new color palette on recently created pages

  12. Report: Mike Miller nearing deal with Nuggets

    Jul 10, 2014, 8:44 AM EDT

    Zach Randolph, Mike Miller Zach Randolph, Mike Miller

    Cavaliers wanted Miller as part of LeBron James courtship

Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. L. James (6953)
  2. C. Anthony (5647)
  3. C. Bosh (3903)
  4. K. Bryant (3610)
  5. D. Wade (3133)
  1. P. Gasol (3081)
  2. K. Love (2642)
  3. G. Hayward (2542)
  4. C. Parsons (2334)
  5. J. Lin (2316)