The question about David Blatt only flared up every two or four years, at least among casual fans of international basketball: Why isn’t that guy coaching in the NBA or at a major college program?
For seven years, Blatt -– born outside Boston, played at Princeton –- worked as coach of Russia’s national team. The American-Israeli serves in the same capacity as Maccabi Tel Aviv in Brooklyn. But his global work schedule will be opening up considerably with his decision, as announced by the Russian Basketball Federation and reported by Eurobasket.com, to step down from duty with Big Red’s national squad:
“Russia was a big part of my professional life. Our common achievements were exceptional and historical, and our impact on Russian basketball growth was tremendous,” Blatt said in a statement issued by the Russian Basketball Federation.
“These seven mutual years were amazing and I quit while Russian basketball is at a peak as the entire basketball world follows it closely.”
Blatt’s work with the Russians was impressive. He led them to a gold medal in the 2007 EuroBasket games, knocking off heavily favored Spain, 60-59. He helped them score a bronze in the same tournament in 2011 and Russia finished third to Team USA and Spain in the London Olympics in August. (more…)