NBA News: Euroleague Champion David Blatt Joins NBA as Head Coach of Cleveland Cavaliers
By Vincent Paul Hidalgo | June 20, 2014 4:10 PM EST
One of the most popular international basketball coaches is set to join the biggest basketball league in the world. The Cleveland Cavaliers have made their decision and is set to tap David Blatt as head coach stating the 2014-2015 NBA Season.
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Blatt and the Cavs were in contract negotiations early Thursday reports ESPN.COM’s Brian Windhorst and Jeff Goodman. The deal should be finalized by Friday according to the site and other sources.
Blatt beat for former NBA player Tyronne Lue for the job but the Cavs are not giving up on the latter offering him to become an assistant to the former.
The 55-year-old former Princeton player’s coaching resume is impressive but will be a rookie coach in the NBA as his experience is limited to international and Europe basketball.
He has coached in Turkey, Russia, Israel and Greece and his most notable performance is with the Russian basketball national team leading the squad to a third place finish in the 2012 London Olympics.
Just this year, Blatt led Euro basketball powerhouse Maccabi Tel Aviv to the Euroleague championship.
Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr wanted Blatt as his assistant with his new team and will instead hire Alvin Gentry.
Blatt’s first immediate challenge is to help out the Cavs front office in deciding who the number one pick is in the 2014 NBA Draft set on June 26.
“He played under Pete Carrill at the Ivy League school. Those Russia teams did not have an offensive star, but rather a lot of solid players who worked well together,” shared NBA.COM’s John Schuhmann.
It’s only a matter of time how the Cavaliers featuring Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters and the 2014 No. 1 pick will look like under Blatt’s tutelage.
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