CLEVELAND (AP) — The Cavaliers’ lengthy coaching search could be nearing its conclusion.
Cleveland offered successful European coach David Blatt its coaching job Thursday night and is discussing a contract with him, said a person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team is not commenting.
After an exhaustive, five-week search, the Cavs zeroed in on Blatt to make him their third coach in three years.
Yahoo! first reported Cleveland’s offer to Blatt.
The 55-year-old Blatt recently resigned as coach of Maccabi Tel Aviv, this year’s Euroleague champion, to pursue his dream of coaching in the NBA. He was coveted as an assistant by Minnesota and Golden State.
Blatt, who was born in Massachusetts and played at Princeton, is regarded as one of the game’s best offensive strategists. Cavs general manager David Griffin set out to find an offensive-minded coach after the club fired Mike Brown on May 12.
Blatt’s possible hiring comes just a week before the Cavs will pick first in the NBA draft. Cleveland’s options with the top overall selection may have been reduced with the stunning development that Kansas center Joel Embiid will have surgery to repair a stress fracture in his right foot. Embiid was one of three candidates — Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker are the others — being considered by the Cavs.
Embiid’s agent, Arn Tellem, said the 7-footer will be unable to participate in any additional workouts and will not attend the draft in New York. Embiid was given a thorough exam last week by the Cavs, who had Wiggins in on Wednesday and are scheduled to visit with Parker on Friday.
The Cavs embarked on their exhaustive search after Brown, who was quickly re-hired last summer by Cavs owner Dan Gilbert, was fired for the second time following a disappointing, playoff-less 33-49 season. One of the league’s youngest teams, the Cavs never gelled under the defensive-minded Brown.
Griffin had face-to-face interviews with at least seven known candidates, including former head coaches Alvin Gentry, Lionel Hollins and Vinny Del Negro and some highly regarded assistants in Tyronn Lue, Adrian Griffin and Mark Price, a former All-Star point guard for the Cavs.
Gilbert reportedly tried to lure Kentucky coach John Calipari, but he signed a long-term extension at the school.
Blatt emerged as a strong possibility after announcing last week that he was leaving Maccabi Tel Aviv, which he guided to a stunning win over Real Madrid for the Euroleague title. Although he may not be well known in the U.S., Blatt has established himself as one of international basketball’s top coaches.
He won numerous European titles over the past two decades and led Russia to a bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics.
Blatt has a reputation for being a demanding coach, unafraid to let a player know when he’s not performing up to expectations. That in-your-face approach might work well in Europe, but he may have to tone it down in the NBA, where high-paid players can be tougher to motivate.
Like BlackAmericaWeb.com on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.
Also On Black America Web:
This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (6/18-6/24)
25 photos Launch gallery
1. Me & the homie @jaleelwhite #RujohnFoundation Happy to be in Jamaica! Good times
1 of 25
2 of 25
3 of 25
4 of 25
5. Good Morning. Early day in Detroit! Making press rounds for @thebossnetwork's Ladies That Lead Tour. Thank you @traycemadre and @colourbynumbr for my glam.
5 of 25
6. POWER the best show on TV @djenvy, Queens we so big out here. #EFFENVODKA #FRIGO
6 of 25
7. They said u lost a step, wasn't explosive as once was, the best days was in the real view, questioned your drive, your leadership, your commitment, you don't have killer instinct, going back home is the worst mistake in your career, he got the coach fired, players traded, won't work between him and Kyrie, Him and Kev won't work, love your teammates to much, there's no way he can deliver a championship in his hometown, etc etc etc.... But guess what THATS NONE OF MY BUSINESS #StriveForGreatness #ThisOneIsForTheLand #PutSomeRespeckOnMyName Hahahaha!!! Yes sir
7 of 25
8. Oooooh weeee this man right here is responsible for at least three of our four babies!! #JOE ❤❤❤🎤 #rnb #king #voicelikebutter #ForPeetesSake
8 of 25
9. Hanging with my @abcnetwork family! @abcunclebuck tonite y'all check us out ! @anthonyanderson @traceeellisross
9 of 25
10. My broski ( @sayeedshahidi ) and I are on Top 5 Live on @go90 at 5 (which is super duper close)! Make sure to tune in :) #UncleBuck #Blackish
10 of 25
11. Lights out💤 #GoodNight
11 of 25
12. Late nights mornings
12 of 25
13. Ran into the lovely talented @siedahgarrett on this brutiful favvuz deh!
13 of 25
14. #halal #love #thedargans #kattwilliamsSHOW #mashallah when that Jennah piece HIT!! @sweetjennahcollection glasses by @baddieglamaccessories LIZ 😍 @dynamiteko top @dazzledmv and jeans @thevision414 and shoes: @louboutinworld
14 of 25
15. Big Hair and Optical Illusions #OceanDrive #MiamiLiving #coverparty
15 of 25
16. MAMA and THE SAVAGES ... ⚓️ #supportyourlocalgirlgang
16 of 25
17. From the bottom of my ❤️, thank you new followers & old! & hello fellow night owls! #grateful #racheltrue #naturalhair #curlyhair #curlygirl #healthyhair
17 of 25
18. I feel so grateful because I met these amazing young minds, visiting from Houston TX, during their college tour stop today at #usc.These students are ALL extraordinary and embody academic excellence so I'm humbled to have shared a few moments with them to applaud and celebrate their bright futures ahead! Thank you @EmergeFellows for inviting me to speak and blessing me with your love and attention this afternoon!
18 of 25
19. Happy Fathers Day Pops. U taught me how to be a man. Lessons of love, hard work & gratefulness. Sorry the fishing didn't stick. LOL. I Love U!
19 of 25
20. Sky Zone and Ice Cream! Best Fathers Day Ever!! Photo credit @mariahcarey
20 of 25
21. Look what finally came in the mail 😎 #mtvmovieawards2016 💥+🌽! #straightouttacompton
21 of 25
22. Claudia Jordan: ....
22 of 25
23. 'Member that time I almost knocked a bajillion dollar camera off the car? Really? Yeah, me neither! #Greenleaf Episode 2 comin atcha!
23 of 25
24. Full of love. #birthday #Cabo
24 of 25
25. Oh hey! Look who just joined Snapchat
25 of 25