It used to be that the pros seldom scouted each other—why tell Earl Monroe how to handle Jo Jo White when they have battled each other dozens of times? Today the NBA, which hit a low point of eight teams, has grown to 17 teams in four divisions, and pro coaches no longer scoff at college methods. Laker Coach Bill Sharman has stepped up his emphasis on films, video tapes and in-depth scouting, and, of course, that last category means more sessions for Bertka high in some noisy arena, dashing off notes like a nervous college freshman trying to keep up with a fast-talking professor, hoping Solveig is keeping up with the paper work at home.
Through it all, Bertka enjoys himself immensely, even though it often takes a couple of martinis before dinner to slow down his motor.
"I have a family and I have basketball, that's it," Bertka says. "No other hobbies. Scouting and the game have been fascinating things to me. I enjoy them, I get a vicarious pleasure out of analyzing a team. It used to hurt so much to lose as a coach. In scouting you don't lose."