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BC-BKN--Obit-Blake,1st Ld-Writethru, BKN

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Sports,NBA

NEW YORK (AP) — Marty Blake, the NBA's longtime director of scouting, died Sunday. He was 86.

Blake worked in the NBA for more than 50 years and is considered the "Godfather of scouting." The NBA said Blake died in Alpharetta, Ga., but didn't provide a cause of death.

Blake was general manager of the Hawks franchise before spending more than 35 years as the league's director of scouting. Commissioner David Stern said the NBA would "forever be indebted to him."

"Marty began his lifetime of service to basketball at a time when the league was still in its infancy," Stern said in a statement. "His work as a general manager and then as Director of Scouting for the NBA 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; children, Eliot, Sarah and Ryan; and five grandchildren.

Arrangements for services in the suburban Atlanta area are pending.

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