Euroleague coaching legend David Blatt has emerged as a top candidate for the Cleveland Cavaliers coaching job, per multiple sources.
Euroleague coaching legend David Blatt has emerged as a top candidate for the Cleveland Cavaliers head coaching job.
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Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski reported on the development on June 19:
"Euroleague icon David Blatt has emerged as the Cleveland Cavaliers' choice to become head coach, league sources told Yahoo! Sports on Thursday.
"Contract discussions are expected to begin soon and could result in a deal, league sources said.
"Blatt, 55, would be the first coach to make the leap from Europe to the NBA as a head coach.
"(Dan) Gilbert nad general manager David Griffin huddled on Thursday and zeroed in on a decision to choose Blatt over Los Angeles Clippers assistant Tyronn Lue. The Cavaliers had been extremely fond of Lue and considered him a potential coaching star in the NBA, sources said.
"Cleveland was under pressure to make a decision on Thursday because Blatt was prepared to accept an assistant coaching job under Steve Kerr with the Golden State Warriors.
"One of the most successful European coaches this era, Blatt resigned from his job as the championship coach of Maccabi Tel Aviv to pursue his longtime goal of coaching in the NBA.
"Blatt was born and raised in Massachusetts, playing his college basketball for Hall of Famer Pete Carill at Princeton before embarking on a hugely successful head coaching career overseas.
"Blatt coached undermanned Maccabi Tel Aviv to a dramatic upset victory over Real Madrid in the Euroleague championships. Blatt has had tremendous success across two decades overseas, winning the 2007 Eurobasket championship with Russia, and a bronze medal in the 2012 London Olympics."
The Cleveland Plain Dealer's Mary Schmitt Boyer also tackled Blatt's candidacy with the Cavaliers in her June 18 article:
"David Pick, a well-respected senior correspondent at Eurobasket.com, Sportando.com and ONE.co.il, the Israeli equivalent of ESPN, sent out three tweets on Wednesday after former Maccabi Tel Aviv coach David Blatt's interview with the Cavaliers.
"First, he tweeted: 'It's finished. Went good, I'm told.'
"Then he added, 'Cavaliers have interviewed David Blatt for head coach position. Source, 'was a good talk.'
"Finally, he tweeted, 'People close to David Blatt advised he join Golden State as assistant over diving into head coach role in Cleveland.'
"Blatt interviewed with the team for the first time Wednesday, although he previously spoke with general manager David Griffin on the phone. Clippers associate head coach Alvin Gentry and Clippers assistant Tyronn Lue already have had second interviews, so it looks like a three-man race at this point.
"Blatt, a Massachusetts native who played for Pete Carill at Princeton, led Maccabi Tel Aviv to a 54-18 record this past season, winning the Israeli league, the Israeli Cup and the Euroleague championships. He also is believed to be weighing offers from Golden State and Minnesota, looking to hire him as an assistant.
"In addition, Kansas (Jayhawks) star forward Andrew Wiggins worked for the team Wednesday, an NBA source confirmed .His teammate, center Joel Embiid, worked out with the team last week, and Duke forward Jabari Parker will work out here on Friday. Those three are widely viewed as the group from which the No. 1 pick will emerge."
Blatt has coached in Europe for the past 17 seasons. He has amassed an overall win-loss record of 308-113 (.732) during that span, per Euroleague.net.
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