NBA teams looking to American-Israeli David Blatt to fill coaching slots

Marcy Oster

(JTA) — Several National Basketball League teams are rumored to be pursuing American-Israeli coach David Blatt.

Blatt, currently coach of Israel’s Maccabi Tel Aviv team, last month led the team to win the Euroleague basketball championship. Russia won a bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics under Blatt’s leadership.

The Cleveland Cavaliers reportedly have contacted Blatt, the Associated Press reported, citing a person familiar with the situation. The Cavaliers, who fired head coach Mike Brown last month, have not commented on the reports.

New York, Minnesota and Golden State reportedly are interested in Blatt to fill assistant coach slots. Blatt reportedly has turned down NBA assistant coaching jobs in the past.

Blatt played for Princeton University from 1977 to 1981 and on the gold medal-winning U.S. team in the 1981 Maccabiah Games. Following the Maccabiah Games, Blatt played for several Israeli teams until he was injured in 1993 and took up coaching.