Interview with Ryan Blake

Interview with Ryan Blake
Apr 13, 2006, 09:20 am
DraftExpress sat down for a short interview with NBA Assistant Director of Scouting Ryan Blake at the end of the PIT to talk about what's next for many of these players.

Jonathan Givony: Hello Ryan, How would you summarize the tournament overall?

Ryan Blake: Hi Jon, I think it was a great tournament. I mean, we had a large number of people. As you know, we got a great group of guys that came in here that didn’t listen to bad advice, no one got hurt and just about everyone showed up, so it was great.

Jonathan Givony: Right, what do you think Portsmouth can do to get some more national media exposure? How can you make people more aware of just how talented the field was here this year? We were doing our best, but I didn’t see a lot of mainstream coverage and maybe if players thought there was going to be more exposure they would be more inclined to participate.

Ryan Blake: I don’t know, for the city of Portsmouth their expectation is to get people to show up for the charity. This is a community thing. As far as the players, they’re coming to play for the scouts. So in terms of media, that’s up to you guys. I mean, you guys have been writing about it right?

Jonathan Givony: Of course, every day.

Ryan Blake: I’m sorry I haven’t gotten a chance to read anything about this tournament. I don’t really know what’s out there.

Jonathan Givony: How would you respond to people who say this tournament is obsolete since only one player was drafted from this pool last year?

Ryan Blake: Who said that?

Jonathan Givony: ESPN, for example.

Ryan Blake: I haven't read it, but anyone who says this isn’t worthwhile doesn’t know anything about scouting. I mean look, it isn’t just about being drafted. Just go back and look and see how many guys from this are on NBA teams. Did Ronnie Price get drafted?

Jonathan Givony: No, but he sure got a guaranteed contract.

Ryan Blake: Exactly, that’s what I’m talking about. It’s not even about that though. Even if it’s weaning out guys, even if it’s about building a database for future reference. Or knowing guys to bring into camp. That one roster spot is worth a lot of money.

Jonathan Givony: Right.

Ryan Blake: You want to make sure you educate yourself. Did he say the NBA should get rid of it? Because if he’s saying the NBA should get rid of it then somebody isn’t doing their homework.

Jonathan Givony:Well, I don’t think he said it exactly like that. He was being very vague.

Ryan Blake: Well, I won’t say that then, because I haven’t read it, but if anyone says that….

Jonathan Givony: Right, who were some of the intriguing guys who showed up? Guys that showed you something that you didn’t expect?

Ryan Blake: I’m happy for guys that play well, regardless of where they come from. A lot of the guys we try to bring in are mix and match, but look at a guy like Dockery or Travis Garrison. Even Brunner and the guys that are doing what they do and nothing’s changed. You still have that concrete evidence that these are guys that possibly can contribute to something that might make an NBA team.

Jonathan Givony: Right.

Ryan Blake: Even a guy like an Antoine Jordan. He didn’t light it up, but if you knew his game before you would still think, even if he doesn’t make Orlando, you still might invite him to camp to give a chance in a different setting. If you haven’t scouted him real well you might have missed something he is capable of doing.

Jonathan Givony: For the players moving onto Orlando, how is Orlando going to be different from Portsmouth?

Ryan Blake: Orlando is going to be kind of like the NFL combine. You’ll have different players, different setting with stations, workouts, testing, physicals. You’re going to have different coaches and a different environment, it’s even a new environment for us too, being in Orlando as opposed to Chicago.

Jonathan Givony: Is the level of competition higher?

Ryan Blake: The competition will be deeper, not necessarily higher. A lot of these guys are underclassmen. Even though they’re early entry guys, maybe they’re not that good. We haven’t seen them as much. So, some of the guys from Portsmouth that didn’t get to Orlando may be better than some of those guys and may end up on NBA rosters.

Jonathan Givony: How is Orlando going to be different that Chicago last year? New facility…

Ryan Blake: I don’t know. It’s new. Again, it’s just a gym with a couple of hoops and the same goals. The format may change a little bit, but it’s still the same guidelines with the workouts and the stations. For me I don’t know, I mean, I’m just working…

Jonathan Givony: Right. Thanks Ryan

Ryan Blake: No problem, thanks again.

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