Maccabi Tel Aviv coach eyes NBA career

Maccabi Tel Aviv coach eyes NBA career

US-born David Blatt says he would be 'very interested' in returning to the States to coach pro ball

Maccabi Tel Aviv head coach David Blatt (photo credit: Moshe Shai/Flash90
Maccabi Tel Aviv head coach David Blatt (photo credit: Moshe Shai/Flash90

Fresh off Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv’s upset win over Real Madrid Sunday night in the Euroleague basketball championship game in Milan, head coach David Blatt said this week that he would be interested in becoming head coach of an NBA franchise in the United States in the future.

There is “no doubt in my mind I could do the job,” Blatt told USA Today on Monday, and said that he would be “very interested” in the opportunity to coach an NBA team, but noted that there are “a lot of great coaches in the States.”

On Tuesday, citing an interview Blatt gave to Russian media, the NRG news site reported that the coach was pursuing an NBA post as his next career goal. “In order for this to materialize, they have to want me,” Blatt was quoted as saying. “I am not at the top of the list, or at least I wasn’t until the Euroleague win with Maccabi.”

US-based basketball blog The Sheridan Report recently speculated that both the New York Knicks and the Utah Jazz had their eye on Blatt, as did an article on the Real GM basketball website.

Blatt, an Israeli-American dual citizen, was born and raised in Massachusetts and played college ball at Princeton University before becoming a pro basketball player in Israel in the early 1980s. He switched to coaching in 1993 and has had a long association with Maccabi Tel Aviv.

From 2003 to 2012 he coached several championship teams in Russia and Italy, and he led the Russian national team to a gold medal in the 2007 Eurobasket tournament and a bronze medal in the 2012 Olympics.

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