The Past, Present and Future of NBA Scouting

September 3rd, 2013 by Stephen Babb Leave a reply »

NBA advance scout Pat Zipfel told ESPN's Brian Windhorst that he once had to sleep in Penn Station because "a game in New York went to overtime and [he] missed the last train out of the city and all the hotel rooms were booked." 

They may not get VIP treatment, but scouts are indispensable in today's NBA. Their impact is felt in all 30 front offices, coaching staffs and locker rooms.

Advance scouts like Zipfel enable the league's best coaches to make their game plans and adjustments. They pore through endless video and information to prepare coaches for the competition. Personnel scouts, on the other hand, keep general managers in business by evaluating draft targets, prospective free agents and players who may be acquired via trade.

Whether watching players or watching plays, scouts have become the NBA's information processors. And much like the computers upon which they rely, these information processors have become infinitely more sophisticated over the years. 

But that shouldn't take anything away from the classics.




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