Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Bonnie-Jill Laflin, NBA's Only Female Scout

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Bonnie-Jill Laflin has worked as a scout for the Lakers since the 2003-04 season and also serves as the assistant general manager for the 22Los Angeles D-Fenders of the NBA Development League. A former cheerleader for the San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys and Golden State Warriors, Laflin began her association with the Lakers as a sports broadcaster covering the team for KCAL/KCBS during its three-title run from 1999-2002.

Check out some of the Slam Magazine interview:

SLAM: What are your scouting responsibilities?
BJL: The Pac-10 and Big 12. I went to the University of Texas. Well, now not the Big 12, we don’t know what it’s going to be called. [Laughs]

SLAM: Back to the Lakers — you’re also an assistant GM for the D-Fenders in the Development League.
BJL: Yes. That’s something I’m really passionate about. I love it. It’s amazing to see these guys living their dream and they’re just on that fringe to making the bigs and to see these guys work so hard. They’re not getting paid very well; it’s just like minor league baseball. It’s blood, sweat and tears to at least try to get even a 10-day callup. I really like seeing how much these guys are living out their dreams.

SLAM: How much are the jobs with the Lakers and D-Fenders related to each other?
BJL: Well, obviously when I’m scouting, it’s not just for the Lakers. I’m also scouting for D-League players for our team. So they definitely relate to my job responsibilities because I’m doing both. There are always those guys who teams are going to pass on and I’m thinking ‘Okay, this is a guy who can develop into something good and he’s got some raw talent. Let’s see how he can grow as a player.’

SLAM: Are you always scouting players with the Triangle in mind?
BJL: Definitely. We run the Triangle with the D-Fenders, as well. And obviously running the Triangle, as you know, you have to have a high basketball IQ. We look for someone who is a smart player on the court, good ball handler, someone who can run the Triangle so you have to think of that right away. Phil [Jackson] likes big guards, there are little things we know that Phil likes.

SLAM: How do you judge whether a player has a high basketball IQ?
BJL: A player that makes smart decisions, someone with good court vision. You can tell when a player is smart and has this raw talent that hasn’t developed into the high basketball IQ that we need. It takes awhile to get that Triangle down. We’re always looking for good point guards.

Click here for the complete Slam Magazine interview

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