Basketball hedgehogs who feed on general managers

basketball hedgehogsHedgehogs are undeniably cute animals.

Just look at this creature!

(Live specimen not pictured.)

Hedgehogs also tell us something useful about how we discuss basketball and evaluate decisions.

I’m not talking about real hedgehogs, in this case.

I’m referring to basketball hedgehogs, a special breed of person with a taste for the flesh of fallen basketball executives and an allergy to nuance.

Why am I talking about cute hedgehogs and man-eating basketball hedgehogs?

Former Philadelphia 76ers GM Sam Hinkie left the organization recently.

While I don’t intend to mount a defense or critique of the Hinkie era, I do want to look at what we can learn from Hinkie’s time in Philadelphia and how people are reacting to it.


How I Started Scouting Basketball

start scoutingThe first steps in anything are often the most difficult ones.

Especially emotionally.

You feel anxious. You don’t know what to do.

Today I want to help you with your first steps in basketball scouting.

If you’ve already started, great! You’ll find value in this article, too.

I’ll begin by telling you about the beginning of my journey, and sharing some of the most important things I learned early on.

How I started scouting basketball

I grew up near Philadelphia as a big sports fan — especially baseball and basketball.

Patrick Ewing was my favorite player when I was a kid.


How to set scouting goals

scouting goalsA basketball scout needs a plan.

When you go to an arena, or sit down to watch tape, knowing what you hope to accomplish is key.

But your work begins before you enter the arena.

You can plan ahead to maximize your performance at and after the game.

Good plans start with setting good basketball scouting goals.

Why you need basketball scouting goals

I remember when I first started scouting high school basketball.

There were so many players to watch. It was dizzying trying to keep track of everyone.

I didn’t know what I was trying to accomplish.

I felt unsure about what was working and what wasn’t.


How scouts can benefit from analytics

basketball scouts can benefit from analytics Basketball scouting and basketball analytics don’t need to be oil and water.

They tell you different things, but they’re not entirely different.

They can be used to supplement one another because they are pieces of the same puzzle.

Here’s how you can do it.

How organizations listen to scouts and analysts

I’ve previously written about how basketball organizations can make the most of their scouting and analytics departments with limited tension.

The main takeaways were:

  1. It starts with the decision maker (usually the general manager) ensuring that the scouting and analytics departments are both heard during decision making processes.
  2. The organization needs infrastructure that provides the decision maker with easy access to all forms of information.