It is expected that today, June 20th the Cleveland Cavaliers will name 55 year old, David Blatt as their new head coach. He comes to Cleveland after winning both the 2014 Euroleague Championship as well as Israel Super Basketball League Championship as the head coach of Maccabi Tel Aviv.
Cavs general manager David Griffin set out to find an offensive-minded coach after the club fired Mike Brown on May 12. After an exhaustive, five-week search, the Cavs zeroed in on Blatt to make him their third coach in three years.
Yahoo! first reported Cleveland’s offer to Blatt.
In the past four seasons with Maccabi Tel Aviv, Blatt’s teams went 222-55, including a 70-13 record in 2011-12. He has also coached the Russian National team to a Bronze medal in the 2012 London Olympics.
Blatt played college basketball at Princeton for the legendary coach Peter Carril and he has used much of what he learned from his mentor to be a successful coach in Europe. His style of play stresses defense first with plenty of passing and ball movement on offense. It is his style that has also earned him the reputation of being the European ‘Gregg Popovich,’ a reference to the coach of the World Champion San Antonio Spurs.
Two years ago, on Aug. 4, 2012, highly regarded Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports and Fox Sports 1 tweeted, “Someday, someone in NBA will have the vision to hire Russian national and Euro coach David Blatt. He’s simply one of the best on the planet.”
He was on the radar as an assistant coach for both GoldenState and Minnesota, but it was a head coaching job that Blatt really wanted.
Prior being named the head coach of Maccabi Tel Aviv, Blatt was the head coach of the Russian club Dynamo St.Petersburg and he led them to the FIBA EuroCup in 2004. He then moved on to Italy’s Benetton Treviso and winning an Italian championship and cup in his two seasons at the club.