David Blatt hired as consultant for New York Knicks

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — David Blatt, the former NBA and Israeli basketball coach, has been hired as a basketball operations consultant for the New York Knicks.

“I look forward to my next step in my career as I officially retire from coaching and pursue other opportunities in basketball,” Blatt, 60, said in a statement released by the Knicks last week.

Blatt, who once coached the Cleveland Cavaliers, stepped down in October as head coach of the Greek Olympiacos team.

In August, Blatt announced that he has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

Blatt and Knicks President Steve Mills played basketball together at Princeton University and have remained friends through the years, according to NBA.com. The Knicks have failed to reach the playoffs since the 2012-13 season and are suffering through a 7-23 season that has seen them fire their coach.

Blatt was fired in 2016 by the Cavaliers after leading the club, powered by the return of superstar LeBron James, to the 2015 NBA Finals, where they lost to the Golden State Warriors in six games. He was hired by the Cavaliers because of his success coaching Israel’s Maccabi Tel Aviv to the EuroLeague championship and a number of European teams.