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December 18, 2019 3:04 pm

Israeli-American Ex-Hoops Coach David Blatt Hired by Woeful New York Knicks as Front Office Adviser

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

David Blatt. Photo: Kyle Terada – USA TODAY Sports.

The struggling New York Knicks hired Israeli-American former basketball coach David Blatt as a basketball operations consultant on Wednesday.

“I look forward to the next step in my career as I officially retire from coaching and pursue other opportunities in basketball,” the 60-year-old Blatt, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis this past summer, said in a statement. “I’ve long been intrigued by working in a front office and thank [Knicks President] Steve [Mills] and [Knicks General Manager] Scott [Perry] for the opportunity to be a resource to the basketball operations staff.”

Mills and Perry commented, “David Blatt is a great basketball mind and we look forward to adding him to the organization. He will be a great asset to our front office, G League team, and international scouting.”

After graduating from Princeton University in 1981, the Boston-born Blatt played as a point guard for several Israeli teams, before embarking on a highly-successful career as a coach in both Israel and Europe.

At the helm of Maccabi Tel Aviv, Blatt won a EuroLeague title in 2014. He was then hired by the Cleveland Cavaliers, and led the squad — featuring Lebron James — to the 2015 NBA Finals, which they lost.

Blatt was fired midway through the following season, even though the Cavaliers held the best record in the NBA’s Eastern Conference at the time.

He returned to Europe and coached for Turkish and Greek teams before retiring in October of this year.

The Knicks are currently 7-21. David Fizdale was fired as head coach on Dec. 6 and was replaced by Mike Miller on an interim basis.

Blatt said on Wednesday he would not pursue the permanent head-coaching vacancy.

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