October 3, 2017
It’s said that necessity is the mother of invention, and that phrase might best describe how Hoops Prospects came about.
There are millions of basketball fans around the World – it’s the second most popular sport on the planet – and a portion of those fans cannot wait to get a glimpse of the future and find out who will be the stars of tomorrow. I know this because I am one of them. This subset of fans includes hoops junkies, who can simply never get enough of basketball, to gamers, who spend hours creating realistic draft classes for NBA 2K.
In general, there has always been a relative dearth of information when it came to in-depth coverage of upcoming prospects for the NBA draft, but for the past decade or so, there was at least one site where we could find consistently reliable information – DraftExpress.com. While there were a few other sites doing similar things, no one could match DraftExpress in terms of being current, thorough, organized, and comprehensive. And now, to the dismay of many, the guys who ran the show at DraftExpress have moved on to ESPN, and the site will no longer be updated.
ESPN has most of its NBA draft coverage behind the “Insider” paywall, and from what I can see, the Insider coverage is not even remotely close to what used to be available at DraftExpress, at least not yet. My guess is that ESPN will never come close to replicating what DraftExpress offered – it’s not the company’s style to offer truly in-depth coverage of a sports niche. And with that said, there is now a huge void for a number of hoops fans – in-depth NBA draft information is simply not out there.
Near the end of the summer of 2017, I decided to start this site. It has been designed for hoops junkies and NBA draftniks, like myself. At a minimum, the goal of the site is to feature regularly updated prospect rankings, mock drafts, and scouting reports of the top prospects for the NBA Draft. It will take us some time to get up to speed, but Hoops Prospects will strive to be comprehensive, thorough, up to date, and consistent, stressing quality as much as quantity. As the site expands, I hope to have coverage of future prospects that are not eligible for the current draft. I also hope to eventually have video scouting reports in addition to the written reports. To achieve all of this, I will need some help, so if think you are qualified and are interested in contributing, please go to this page.
Now, a little about me: since childhood, I had a keen interest in sports. When I was not actually playing sports, I would analyze statistics and attempt to develop ways to project the performance of teams. It started by inventing games, using the stats on the backs of baseball cards. By my teens, I was mainly interested in basketball and American football (both college and pro), and I began developing computer simulations and games to replicate and project performance. This interest lead me to a career in computer science, and later, to founding a fantasy football website, FantasyFootballExperts.com (FFEx.com).
Between 1998 and 2008, I not only ran FFEx but also contributed to various magazines, radio shows, and a number of other sites, including ESPN, SI.com, and USAToday.com. FFEx featured constantly updated customizable player rankings, team power ratings, in-depth analysis of every NFL game, a weekly podcast, and more.
Around 2008, many “Mom and Pop” fantasy football shops began to bite the dust, and my site did not escape that fate. At that point, one could say that I semi-retired. I tried a variety of things in the wake of FFEx, including grad school, photography, political campaign work, and various writing projects, such as a stint at NBADraft.net. However, for one reason or another, none of these ventures were overly rewarding, and by the summer of 2017, I found myself looking for a new project.
This is how HoopsProspects.com came about. There is a void that needs to be filled for hoops junkies and draftniks, like myself, and I can resume doing what I always have loved to do, analyzing sports.
— Richard C. Harris