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David Blatt

Category: Coaches, NBA
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Biography:

Sports Speaker David Blatt is the Head Coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers and is considered to be one of the greatest offensive minds in all of basketball. David has spent most of his career overseas as a coach for various teams in Israel, as well as serving as Head Coach for the Israeli and Russian national teams. His illustrious career in Israel saw David garner five Israeli Cups, four Israeli League Championships, and the Israeli Coach of the Year Award 3 separate times. With NBA superstars Lebron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love on his roster- David is ready to take the Cavaliers franchise to new heights.

David played point guard at Princeton from 1977-1981, serving as the team captain. He credits much of his offensive philosophies to what he learned at Princeton under Coach Pete Carril who developed what is now a widely duplicated offensive concept known as the Princeton Offense. In 1981, David played in the Maccabiah Games as part of the USA national team where his team would go one to win the gold medal. He then moved to Israel, serving in the Israel Defense Forces, an experience he considers one of his greatest bonding experiences with the country. Not wanting to leave Israel, David played professionally in Israel from 1981-1993 until injuries ultimately ended his playing career.

Immediately after his playing days had concluded, David became the Assistant General Manager of Hapoel Galil Elyon in Israel where he also served as the teams Head Coach for part of the season. David received his first Israeli Coach of the Year Award for the 1996-1997 season and also was named an Assistant Coach of the Israeli national team. David moved to the prestigious Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball club in 1999 as an Assistant Coach. In 2002, David was named Head Coach of the team and subsequently won his 2nd Israeli Coach of the Year Award. Over the next 12 years, David would shift back and forth from coaching stints in Israel and Russia, becoming the Head Coach for Russia’s Dynamo St. Petersburg in 2004 and also the Head Coach for the Russian national team. As the Russian national team coach, David led the team to the Eurobucket Championship in 2007 as well as the bronze medal in the 2012 London Olympic Games. David returned to Maccabi Tel Aviv in 2010 as the team’s Head Coach, amassing an impressive overall record of 225-55 from 2010-2014. The team would go on to win the 2014 Euroleague Championship; afterwards, David was named the Euroleague Coach of the Year.

Following the 2014 season, Sports Speaker David Blatt left Maccabi Tel Aviv to pursue a coaching position in the NBA. In June of 2014, David was announced to take over the reigns as the new Cleveland Cavaliers head coach. Facing considerable pressure after the return of Lebron James and the signing of Kevin Love, David lived up to expectations as he led the Cavs to a 53-29 record and the number two seed in the Eastern Conference.

Sports Speaker David Blatt has duplicated his success in the professional ranks both internationally and in the NBA.