Related Biography: Nba Scout Marty Blake
Marty Blake, director of scouting for the National Basketball Association (NBA), is the man most often credited with discovering Lenny Wilkens. Blake, general manager of the NBA's Hawks in both St. Louis and Atlanta for seventeen years, first saw Wilkens perform at the National Invitational Tournament (NIT) in 1960. He was impressed by the point guard from Brooklyn, although he admitted a few years ago he had no idea how far Wilkens would go in professional basketball. Blake was interviewed by Jeffrey Hawk of the Atlanta Constitution shortly after Wilkens was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a coach in October 1998 (he'd previously been inducted as a player in 1989). Blake told the Constitution: "But you couldn't know all this was going to happen. You knew he was going to be a great player. You knew he was a coach on the floor at Providence. I mean, he ran the show. There was no question who was in charge. You had a sense watching him that Lenny could someday become a coach, but all this? That was impossible to forecast."
Involved in basketball for more than half a century, Blake helped found the Continental Basketball Association in 1946. During his seventeen years with the Hawks, the team won eight division titles and in 1957-1958 beat the Boston Celtics to cinch the NBA championship. Earlier Blake had served as president of the Pittsburgh Condors of the American Basketball Association (ABA), which was later merged into the NBA.
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