David Blatt is Cavs new coach
James W. Wade III | 6/25/2014, 4:20 p.m.
The Cleveland Cavaliers announced the new head coach Wednesday June 25, 2014, David Blatt and Tyronn James Lue in a new position, associate head coach
“I have watched David's work for many years,” David Griffin, Cavs General Manager said in a news release. “He has an uncanny ability to adapt his system to maximize the talents of his teams year after year. That is why I am very confident he will make a smooth transition to the NBA. There is a great opportunity to accelerate the progress of moving our team and franchise to the higher level of play we all believe we are capable of achieving,” he added.
Blatt has been a coach overseas.
”David is a great basketball coach and a special person. His abilities to communicate, to build relationships with his players and to foster winning environments at several stops throughout Europe and across the highest levels of International competition speaks for itself. He brings unbridled passion, energy and creativity to his craft. These qualities have enabled David to reach a level of success that is truly unique, said Griffin.
After retiring from basketball as a player, Blatt became assistant manager for Hapoel Galil Elyon, coaching them for the 1993–94 seasons. In the middle of the season, the head coach was sacked and he took his place. Next season he became Pini Gershon's assistant in the 1994–95 seasons. In the following year, he won the title of Israeli "Coach of the Year" for 1996, and, in 1997, he continued coaching at Hapoel Galil Elyon while also becoming the assistant coach of the Israeli National Team.
In 2014, Blatt led Maccabi Tel Aviv to one of the greatest comebacks against CSKA Moscow in the Euroleague semifinal game, proceeding to win the championship after beating Real Madrid in overtime. In June, after his contract ended, Blatt officially parted ways with the club in order to seek an NBA coaching position. Over four years as Maccabi head coach, he compiled a 93 and14 record.
On June 20, the Cavs hired him and now the team is ready for a great season and the NBA Draft where we will see what direction and the ownership are going. “I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity to come to Cleveland and lead the Cavaliers as their head coach. After spending a great deal of time discussing the organization, the team and the head coach’s role with David Griffin, I feel strongly about my fit for the job and this team's potential. This is an opportune time to join the Cleveland Cavaliers. We are going to work extremely hard to achieve the kind of results we all expect and know are possible,” said Blatt. I have always heard about how great of a sports town Cleveland is and have come to understand how much fans here care about the Cavaliers.
Lue, a former American professional basketball player, was the runner up for the head coaching position with the Cavaliers.