Long-time European coach David Blatt making jump to NBA

Fitzgerald Cecilio – 4E Sports Reporter

Cleveland, OH, United States (4E Sports) – David Blatt announced that he’s leaving European team Maccabi Tel Aviv and move to the NBA, either with the Golden State Warriors or the Cleveland Cavaliers.

According to sources, Blatt is poised to land either with the Warriors as an assistant or with the Cavaliers as their head coach.

“It will be Golden State or Cleveland,” a source said.

Blatt, an American-Israeli who rose to prominence coaching abroad after playing at Pete Carril’s Princeton, announced Thursday he was leaving newly crowned Euroleague champions Maccabi Tel Aviv to pursue his first-ever job in the NBA at 55.

Blatt’s destination won’t be known until next week at the earliest, sources said, after a face-to-face interview with the Cavaliers, who interviewed him over the phone recently.

Aside from Blatt, the Cavaliers are also eyeing Los Angeles Clippers assistant coaches Alvin Gentry and Tyronn Lue. They also tried to lure John Calipari, Billy Donovan and Kevin Ollie from the college ranks but were rejected.

The Cavaliers also have reached out to ESPN’s Mark Jackson, who returned to the network following his May ouster by Golden State.

New Warriors coach Steve Kerr, meanwhile, continues to press hard to add Blatt to serve, in essence, as his offensive coordinator.

Sources say Kerr also continues to pursue Gentry — who currently serves as the Clippers’ top aide to Doc Rivers — as well as noted San Antonio Spurs shot doctor Chip Engelland for his staff. Engelland is likewise coveted by new Utah Jazz coach Quin Snyder, sources say.

The Warriors had been increasingly confident of winning the race for Blatt’s services, but Cleveland’s unexpected pursuit of the Maccabi coach has thrown that into some doubt.

After leading Russia to the bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics — its first Olympic basketball medal since the collapse of the Soviet Union — Blatt guided a Maccabi team to the Euroleague title last month.

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