Claim to fame: He coached Decatur High to three state championships, brought respect and the first NCAA tournament berth to Georgia State's men's Basketball team and was an assistant coach for the Hawks when Mike Fratello was the head coach. He has scouted for three teams. Vital stats
Resides: Midtown Atlanta
Family situation: Married to Jane (51 years). Son Bobby in Tampa and daughter Kelly in Nashville. Four grandchildren.
Occupation: Scout for the Miami Heat
About coaching vs. scouting
Coaching: "The pro level is a business, and college and pro are about entertainment. But at the high school level, it's pure Basketball. Pure coaching. Think about it: I don't know of any time we didn't have that [Decatur High] gym filled by 5 [for a 7 p.m. game]. And, if you weren't there by 5, you couldn't get in. Most coaches would tell you that, economically, if they could make the same kind of money, they wouldn't aspire to go into college coaching. But if you've got an opportunity, you have to go out and make money."
Scouting: "The toughest thing to do is scout potential. When I scout, I scout based on work ethic, coachability. I watch kids in the pregame, when they're taken out of a game, or when they get knocked out of a game. I pick out some things that give me an idea of what they're going to be like about three years later. If I'm looking at a big man, I want to know: Can he take a blow? Can he give a blow? How does he run the floor? If he gets hit, if he retaliates immediately or stores it in his head and does it at a more opportune time."
About his achievements
Coaching: "I've always said a coach's job is to get maximum potential out of a player. Potential, a player can get that on his own. But maximum potential. My philosophy was every player has a hot button. The thing I did as a coach was get the maximum potential from my players. All told, I coached 30-plus years, and I found out you always coach better with good players."
Scouting: "When I was with Golden State, I worked with Gary Fitzsimmons and Garry St. Jean. And when I worked with them, we drafted or got Antawn Jamison, Troy Murphy, Mike Dunleavy and Jason Richardson. ... When I was with them, we had some good drafts."
About Atlanta as Basketball town
Then: "Let's talk specifically about Georgia State. When I was down there, I always considered it an advantage any positive publicity you can get. It's always going to be tough to draw there. It's a tough place to get to. Students there are a little different, although now they have some dorms. The majority are still commuter kids, and I don't see any change in that."
Now: "As a Basketball town, professional sports are different than high school. This is a really good state compared to other states. Atlanta is football-oriented, but last year [the Hawks' playoff run] was indicative of what Atlanta will do if you win. They had good, enthusiastic crowds."
Then: "Mid-major level schools have a disadvantage in recruiting. You have to take what the Division I schools don't take. Often, the facilities are second-rate. Kids tell you they want to go to Division I schools so they can be on TV. I always told them, 'You better go somewhere where you can play because those TVs aren't focusing on the bench.' ... It's a false notion that you have to go to a big school to get to the NBA , and that's what they really want. Take the Celtics of the '80s. You had Kevin McHale from Minnesota, Larry Bird from Indiana State, Dennis Johnson from Pepperdine, Cornbread Maxwell from UNC Charlotte. There's not a North Carolina or Duke in that bunch."
Now: "Players are getting better. The talent pool isn't confined to Division I. The talent pool is so broad now, and you add to that with international players. ... [Scouting] keeps me involved. There's a lot of travel. The difference is, some guys get off a plane and they have to sell you something. I get off a plane, and I go see a Basketball game."