Reports: Cavaliers hire Blatt

David Blatt (right, with USA coach Mike Krzyzewski in Shanghai in 2008) is reportedly the new Cleveland head coach. (Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE)

David Blatt (right, with USA coach Mike Krzyzewski in Shanghai in 2008) is reportedly the new Cleveland head coach. (Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE)

NBA.com staff

The Cleveland Cavaliers have hired David Blatt, an American who has been a head coach in Europe for more than 15 years, as their next head coach, according to several reports. He was coach of the Russian national team from 2006-2012.

David Pick, a senior correspondent at Eurobasket.com, also has the news.

The hometown Cleveland Plain-Dealer has the news here:

Blatt, 55, has been on the Cavs radar from the beginning of their extensive, five-week search that included at least a dozen candidates, although he was the last to interview. Blatt was at least the seventh candidate to interview, along with popular former Cav Mark Price, Alvin Gentry, Lionel Hollins, Vinny Del Negro, Adrian Griffin and Tyronn Lue.

In addition, it’s believed the Cavs reached out to at least another five candidates, formally or informally, including former Golden State coach Mark Jackson and college coaches John Calipari of Kentucky, Kevin Ollie of UConn, Billy Donovan of Florida and Tom Izzo of Michigan State.

Blatt, who played at Princeton under coach Pete Carril and was coach of the Russian national team from 2006-2012,  is one of the most successful European coaches of this era, according to Yahoo! Sports’ Wojnarowski. Blatt just won a Euroleague title with Maccabi Tel Aviv, upsetting favored Real Madrid, but resigned shortly after to pursue his goal of coaching in the NBA. Woj has more details here:

Blatt, 55, is the first coach to make the leap from Europe to the NBA as a head coach.

Gilbert and general manager David Griffin huddled on Thursday and zeroed in on a decision to choose Blatt over Los Angeles Clippers assistant coach 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.

Our man John Schuhmann pointed out what Blatt’s hiring could mean to the Cavs.

24 Comments

  1. okcDoke2014 says:

    A sign of acquiring free agents and building ? Maybe LeBron home coming and other FA ?

  2. Fuzz says:

    It seems the only way to beat the Borg, umm Spurs, will b with a true zone defense. They eat up man defense, and other teams will be following their lead. Why not hire Boheim or his undersudy?

  3. Zerach Greenfield says:

    The article seems to have omitted his greatest accomplishments have come as the coach. Of Maccabi tel aviv.

  4. imissthethunder says:

    Okay, at first glance, it all sounds good to me. But I read somehwere, that he will still be coaching the same cast of charactors. So, will this translate to wins now for the Cavaliers? I’m not comnvinced yet. Kyrie Irving is suspect and so is their center..

  5. Moshe huli says:

    Wow, what a great achievement for the Israeli coach.
    Cavs fan, u got outstanding coach.
    Good luck David

  6. ohad twito says:

    Wow I’m so happy for him he is the next Gregg Popovich one of the best coach in the world there’s no question about that Cavs in the playoffs next season love you form Israel :)

  7. Ophir says:

    I think that’s probably the best decision that the Cavs made since drafting Lebron, and possibly ever…

  8. supervisoron says:

    Very good deal for the Cavs. Very brave move of them. that will pay off really fast.
    It’s time for a change in this league.

  9. Ran Hai says:

    As maccabi tel aviv fan i wish david and Cleveland Cavaliers A lot of success and I think that Cleveland Cavaliers have made an excellent choice.

  10. Guy says:

    wow amazing coach !

    this season gonna be goooddddd

  11. Gargamel says:

    DAVID BLATT! GOOD LUCK!!!
    You are a good man and an intelegent one. You deserve it!

    And for all the worried cavs fans: who promised you that signing an american one would lead a successfull season?? Can someone promise you that?

    Be gentelmans and support blatt and your team.

  12. matan antebi says:

    to all the fans of Cavaliers, you just got the best coach in the world. from the maccabi tel aviv fan.
    wish u al the best with him… cause u gonna go to the nba final for sure in this 4 years!

  13. Cavs Fan says:

    Why couldn’t we hire someone like George Karl who has nba coaching experience? At the very least if you’re hiring an untested coach hire mark price because of his past roots with the organization.

    • MA says:

      I agree with you. This guy is a great coach but there are best coaches out there like Karl. but this buy might use his offense strategy to perfection with no nba experience.

    • BostoNation says:

      This guy won a Euroleage championship against all odds.
      He won CSKA Moscwa, who had x5 the budget Maccabi Tel Aviv had.
      Then, he won the best team in European basketball, with stars like Lull, Rodriguez,Fernandez and Mirotic.
      You should be grateful you got such an underrated coach, he’s known for his amazing work with point guards and he’s gonna improve Kyrie Irving.
      Cavs are a playoff team with Tristian Thompson,Kyrie Irving,Spencer Hawes,Jabari Parker\Andrew Wiggins,Dion Waiters,Lul Deng and etc.
      Blatt is gonna make Kyrie a floor-general and a true pure point guard then the whole team will improve drastically.

    • Go Cavs says:

      Thank god we finally went for a european style coach !!!
      17 years of success for popovich with the spurs finally paid off and the management see that its the right way to go !
      This coach is a freaking genius (To all of you that watch over sea’s games, you probably know him )
      He took 3 titles this year with a team that wasn’t even suppose to get to the Top 16 in the euroleague and took the title !

      Thank you Cavs Management , that finally , you put your money in the right direction !!!
      This season gonna be the bomb !!!!

      Yessssssss Sirrrrrrrrr :-)))

    • maccabi fan says:

      good luck – David. U are one of the best coaches in rhe world! Cavs fans – u are getting a hard workig, smart and great man.
      BE HAPPY!!!

    • Go Cavs says:

      There’s not a lot of coaches that would take the Cavs job. I like that we’ve signed a coach who’s desperate enough to coach NBA basketball that Cleveland is where he wants to be. Also, he’s proven he can win, even if not in the NBA. Spurs had 9 international players on the roster, going outside of the USA isn’t necessarily a risky move these days

    • kanuk says:

      what?! untested coach? do you even know whom you’re talking about?

    • Britton says:

      He’s not an untested coach.

    • maccabi fan says:

      i just cant stand the american arrogance. this guy won everything out there and did magic with so little.
      without depending on any superstar he beat several former nba players such as rudy fernandez, sergio rodriguez, victor khryapa, jeremy pargo, donta smith.
      this guy has so many tricks and great basketball experience – if youll be just a little bit more familiar with his past im sure youll agree with me about this.

    • as says:

      Dont you thing Coach who has profesional expierence of 15 years is better than any other rookie coach?
      He has won titles with Russian National team, when they where underdogs, he did the same this year in Tel Aviv…

      He is American, with European expierence as a Head Coach. He has credibility… He is 100 times better then Kidd, Fisher or Kerr…

      But those are coaches that has been selected by much better franchieses than your Cavs. So me patien and more than happy…

      He will teach young guys, motivate starts and will get you top5 seed in playofs next season!

    • x says:

      David Blatt is the best coach in europe and he is going to be the best in the nba (after popovic…)
      and with te cavs potential and the 1st pick he can take clevlend to the top!!!
      We love you David!!!!

    • amrhein3 says:

      An untested coach? You’re an idiot…