David Blatt announces departure from Israel to pursue NBA coaching job, lists Warriors, Cavaliers as options

David Blatt, one of the most accomplished coaches in Europe, announced Thursday he is leaving Maccabi Tel Aviv for the NBA, but will it be for an assistant coaching job with the Warriors?

Blatt said at his press conference in Hebrew that he has “good options,” adding that he did not yet know which job he would take. Asked to narrow down those options, Blatt told Eurobasket.com that he would probably meet with Cleveland next week and that the Warriors were an option as well.

Mike Tannenbaum, the agent for both Blatt and Kerr, declined comment.

Blatt had said he spoke with Warriors head coach Steve Kerr last week during a layover at Los Angeles International Airport, calling it “a great meeting.” Blatt would fulfill Kerr’s desire of having an experienced head coach on his staff. Kerr never coached on the professional level before coming over from the broadcasting booth to replace Mark Jackson last month.

Cleveland could offer Blatt a head coaching job after firing Mike Brown. The Cavaliers reportedly will also give second interviews to Los Angeles Clippers assistant coaches Alvin Gentry and Tyronn Lue. ESPN.com reported Cleveland general manager David Griffin also spoke with Jackson, who the Warriors fired last month.

Minnesota also appears to be interested in Blatt for an assistant coaching position under new head coach Flip Saunders.

Blatt, 55, has coached in Greece, Israel, Italy, Turkey and led Russia to a bronze-medal finish at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London. Last month, he led Maccabi team to the Euroleague championship and Wednesday saw it clinch the Israeli Basketball Super League title.

A day after being soaked in champagne, Blatt said at his press conference in English that he was leaving “to search and to meet other professional challenges that I have in my life.”

“It’s been a dream of mine for almost forever to go and join a team in the NBA in some capacity,” said Blatt, a Massachusetts native. “I wish I could have done it as a player. I wasn’t good enough. But now perhaps I’ll have that opportunity as a coach, and I hope that I can contribute as much and in the same way to the team that I’ll go to as I’ve been able and fortunate enough to have done here in Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv.”

Diamond Leung

  • Stan

    He has to think about –“Cleveland or SF bay area?” “Hmm?”..If he has to do that, he must not know much about economics or climate. He knows the ball is round.
    btw,Stan here gets that 95.7 is defending Papa on what I posted as idiocy to claim that Klay Thompson is an “untouchable” for Kevin Love. But when 95.7 tried to make Love sound like just an average player..I did a spitake!. Man,if thats Meyers and Lacobs way of telling Warrior fans they wont make the deal..then next years possible missing of the playoffs is on.
    And if 95.7 thinks that I would back down…I sure didn’t back down when Larry Kreuger and Jim Kozimor called Lebron James “A loser”..right before he won his first of two NBA titles in a row.
    Bay Area sports media people get weird bugs up their kazoo’s over some crazy idea only they have.

  • Stan

    Oh,how crazy did 95.7 get in putting down Love? They made him sound old…. 26 years old!
    I’m glad I’m here to be grounded for you people.

  • Bryan Hsiao

    I don’t think this is the place for keeping your own dairy.
    Or you just like to talk to yourself all the time?

  • Stan

    My right. I pay for the paper. And its the comments section genius.

  • Stan

    And ,I’ve had plenty of back and forth with fellow fans. Where you been?
    Don’t read my comments on Warriors basketball,in the comments sections on Warriors basketball. Its that easy.

  • benbrung

    Quite right . . . your dairy should be kept in the refrigerator or you risk getting salmonella. ; )

  • Stan

    wow- more comments on this blog and views then “Talking points”. Eh,if Tim’s crazed fans want to b&m at me..bring it on! This is the fast growing blog on the Mercury website!

  • Stan

    Rick Barry says: Scallabrini WAS THE WRONG COACH for the Warriors. “All he teaches is outside shooting and the Warriors need inside coaching”. I believe Rick.
    And that might be why MJ was unhappy with him. Another Lacob move crumbles…

  • Bryan Hsiao

    Haha. Thanks for the laughter

  • thewarriorsrule

    don’t bother responding to the troll