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Hornets on the Internets: Dell Demps Edition


Because talking about Chris Paul is ludicrously speculative and completely depressing, let's discuss Dell Demps. Out of the chute, the Times-Pic has the usual pablum about how excited Demps is to be the new GM:

Here's the headline quote:

"From the moment I spoke to Hugh and Monty about this opportunity, I could tell something special was building within the organization," Demps said in a release. "I am excited for this opportunity because the Hornets are a great organization with a lot of positive pieces."

And he wants to clean house:

Weber said the Hornets' entire basketball operations department will undergo a complete evaluation by Demps, who plans to hire his own staff.

And Gregg Popovich really likes Demps:

"He work ethic here was exemplary, and when I would have conversations with him just about basketball - and the questions he would ask - you could tell he was going to be someone that was going to be in charge of something either on the coaching or management side.'' Spurs Coach/President of Basketball Operations Gregg Popovich said. "Once he got his MBA (from the UnivAersity of the Pacific) and started looking around, he fell in love with the management side. He knows how pieces go together.''

Good signs, all in all. Let's dig a bit deeper into Mr. Demps' past, though.

Here's a Q&A with Demps from when he was the Director of Pro Player Personnel for the Knicks in 2005. It's a nice snapshot of Demps that gives us an idea of where he's been. A sampling:

Q: How many games do you go to a year?
A: Wow. I will try and see an average of four games in person per week from October through April. I am based outside of Sacramento so I build my schedule around that. Then on tape I would probably watch another 200 or so games.

And via Hornets 247, the 2009 edition of the alumni newsletter of the University of the Pacific's Eberhardt School of Business (the newsletter is named "Strictly Business," of course) profiled Demps, who I'm willing to bet is their highest-profile alum. I strongly recommend reading the whole profile, but here is one very interesting item:

Dell is one of the few "paperless" people in the NBA. This is a skill that he brought back with him from his Pacific MBA trip to Santiago, Chile. He spoke at length about the visit his MBA class made to a telecom company in Santiago that was completely paperless. In the NBA, most personnel take notes on paper at the basketball games when they scout NBA prospects, then type the notes and submit them to their respective team the next day. Dell takes all of his notes on his PDA and finishes his report by the time he leaves the arena. He is clear about the time efficiency and effectiveness of this system and how it enables him to be more productive to complete other tasks.

This might not seem like a big deal, but having an electronic database of scouting reports on a ton of players can be really useful. It can be brought up quickly and analyzed on the fly, saving time that is even more critical for the Hornets' chronically understaffed front office. Hopefully this is just one of the perks of having an MBA as a GM.

However, Suns blogs don't particularly seem broken up about missing out on a double alumnus of the University of the Pacific. Bright Side of the Sun merely says "does anyone else feel jilted by Demps?" Considering that nobody in the comments even mentions Dell Demps, I'm guessing the answer to that question is "not particularly." Meanwhile, Valley of the Sun puts on a stoic face and simply looks at the next available options for the Suns.

Finally, I have to recommend reading Rohan's post on Dell Demps if you haven't already. It's the most authoritative profile of Demps I can find.