The Charlotte Bobcats’ new database scouting system has over 50,000 web pages.
You can instantly look up year-by-year statistics for Boston Celtics great Bill Russell … or any other player in NBA history. You can check the injury archive of a Slovenian playing in the Spanish league or whether a forward in the Development League was ever busted for drugs.
This is Charlotte Bobcats general manager Rich Cho’s baby, an Internet-friendly system that took six months and a six-figure cost to develop. Now it evolves daily and gets put to the test in Thursday night’s NBA draft, when the Bobcats select second and 31st following a 7-59 season.
Cho’s boss, president of basketball operations Rod Higgins, has a simple description for this complex tool: “One-stop shopping.”
The result, the Bobcats hope, is that quicker access to a buffet of information offers a competitive advantage in player evaluation.
When Cho interviewed with the Bobcats a year ago, he told Higgins and team owner Michael Jordan he thought the front office needed more staffing and fresh technology. When you’re dealing with decisions as consequential as the No. 2 pick, don’t you want the best tools available?
Jordan agreed, approving the hiring of three new support staff, including a Harvard graduate to oversee statistical analysis. Then Jordan tasked Cho with reviewing the Bobcats’ scouting system, to see whether it should be replaced.
The Bobcats were using “Hawkeye,” one of several plug-in scouting tools NBA teams can buy and adapt to their needs. Cho thought it wiser to start from scratch, to customize a Bobcats-only system. Among NBA executives, he has a rare background that qualifies him to do just that.
– Reported by Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer