NEW YORK, April 8 (UPI) -- Marty Blake, known as the "godfather of NBA scouting," died in Georgia, the league announced. He was 86.
Blake was the league's director of scouting for more than 35 years.
A report on NBA.com said Blake died Sunday in suburban Atlanta.
The one-time general manager of the Atlanta Hawks worked in the NBA for more than a half-century, retiring two years ago.
Blake was born in Paterson, N.J.
"Marty began his lifetime of service to basketball at a time when the league was still in its infancy," NBA Commissioner David Stern said.
"His work as a general manager and then as director of scouting ... first helped the teams to understand the value of scouting. Marty's dedication not just to the NBA but to basketball was extraordinary and we will forever be indebted to him."
Blake is survived by his wife, Marcia; sons Ryan and Eliot, daughter Sarah and five grandchildren, USA Today reported.