In 2015, David Blatt coached LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers to the NBA Finals for the second time in the franchise’s history. Unfortunately for Blatt, the Cavaliers (which were without Kevin Love and, for much of the series, Kyrie Irving due to injuries) ultimately lost to the Golden State Warriors and he was let go 41 games into the following season after struggling to get on the same page as James.
Since then, Blatt’s been coaching in Europe, where he won the 2018 EuroCup with Turkish basketball club Darussafaka. Most recently, he was the head coach for Greek basketball club Olympiacos. Now, nearly five years later, Blatt is making his return to the NBA, but not to be a coach.
According to a release put out by the team, the New York Knicks have hired Blatt to be a consultant to team president Steve Mills.
NY Knicks announce the hiring of David Blatt as a basketball operations consultant. pic.twitter.com/m8eHSASaQH
— NY_KnicksPR (@NY_KnicksPR) December 18, 2019
David Blatt has retired from coaching after 26 professional seasons to take Knicks front-office position. He has strong relationships with Knicks executives Steve Mills and Craig Robinson. https://t.co/wHSBEjUrMa
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) December 18, 2019
Steve Mills and David Blatt are great friends dating back to their days playing for Princeton University. https://t.co/mIaVwqWLhs
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) December 18, 2019
Blatt’s hiring comes at an interesting time in the team’s season. The Knicks fired their head coach, David Fizdale, after a 4-18 start to the season and there were rumors that Mills would be the next shoe to drop. While that still may happen, Blatt’s presence theoretically gives Mills another experienced basketball mind to bounce ideas off of before making decisions for New York.