makes switch from Euroleague to NBA with Cavs
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[June 21, 2014]
(Reuters) - The Cleveland Cavaliers
announced David Blatt as their new coach on Friday, handing the
55-year-old a three-year contract to become the first head coach to make
the switch from the Euroleague to the National Basketball Association
Blatt, who resigned his post at Maccabi Tel Aviv last week, is
the Cavs' third coach in as many years, where he will be handed the
task of leading them back into the playoffs after a four-year hiatus
since the departure of LeBron James.
"David is a great basketball coach and a special person," Cavaliers
general manager David Griffin said of the Boston-born Blatt in a
"His abilities to communicate, to build relationships with his
players and to foster winning environments at several stops
throughout Europe and across the highest levels of international
competition speaks for itself.
"He brings unbridled passion, energy and creativity to his craft.
These qualities have enabled David to reach a level of success that
is truly unique.
"I have watched David's work for many years. He has an uncanny
ability to adapt his system to maximize the talents of his teams
year after year. That is why I am very confident he will make a
smooth transition to the NBA."
Blatt capped his 20-year career in Europe at Maccabi Tel Aviv, who
were 54-18 this season, winning the Israel League, Israeli Cup and
the Euroleague Championship.
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During his six years as head coach (2001-03 and 2010-2014), Blatt
led the team to six Israeli Cup Championships and five Israeli
Blatt also spent six years as head coach of the Russian National
Team, where during the 2012 London Olympics, he led Russia to the
bronze medal, the only Russian basketball medal since the break-up
of the Soviet Union.
(Reporting by Ben Everill in Los Angeles; Editing by John O'Brien)
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