Maccabi Tel Aviv’s Euroleague-winning basketball coach David Blatt said Saturday he’d like to represent Israel as the country’s ambassador to Washington.
Interviewed on Channel 2 days after Maccabi’s upset win over Real Madrid Sunday night to take the Euroleague basketball championship in Milan, the US-born head coach David Blatt was asked what his dream next job would be. “I’d like to be Israel’s ambassador to Washington, DC,” he said.
As the interviewer’s eyebrows went up, Blatt said, “You asked me about my dream job” and said he could think of nothing better than representing his country, Israel, in the land of his birth.
“So, you’re entering politics?” Blatt was asked.
“That’s diplomacy, not politics,” he fired back.
You’d be on the next bus if offered that job? “No question,” said Blatt.
Earlier this week, Blatt had said 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. He 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 also 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.
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.