David Blatt, current Head Coach of Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv and the Russian National team started his basketball career as point guard for Princeton University
Blatt was part of the USA team that participated in the Maccabiah Games winning a gold medal in 1981 triggering a departure from his American career into Israel’s Super League. A natural leader on court he made the progression from player to take the position of Head coach for Galil Elyon and soon became assistant coach of the Israeli National Team and the Israeli Coach of the year.
During the 1999-2000 season Blatt signed to Maccabi Tel Aviv as assistant coach creating the successful coaching partnership with Pini Gershon, which led to Maccabi winning the Israeli League and Cup and also finishing in second place in Euroleague that year.
Blatt remained with Maccabi until 2004, when Maccabi was crowned Euroleague Champion after demolishing Skipper Bologna in the final 118-74.
In 2004 Blatt moved to Russia as Head Coach of Dynamo Saint Petersburg, winning the FIBA Euro Cup championship and title of Russian Coach of the year (2004–05 season).
For the 2005–06 season Blatt became Head Coach of Benetton Treviso of the Italian League, and subsequently led them to the Italian Championship. In the same year, he was also appointed the head coach of the Russian National team. Within a year he restored Russia to a former glory and famously won EuroBasket 2007 in a final against the reigning world champions, and the home team Spain, by a 1 point margin (60–59).
After coaching Efes Pilsen in Turkey, Dynamo Moscow in Russia and Aris Thessaloniki in Greece, Blatt has returned to his current position of Head Coach at Maccabi in 2010 where he has once again claimed the Israeli National Championship and Cup and perhaps most importantly became runner-up in Euroleague in 2011
Listen below to David Blatt speaking to Future Stars on his Top 16 campaign and giving his comments to the following questions;
What is your assessment of your performance in Top 16? Benet Cantu provided you with much stiffer opposition than many people expected?
In the play-off stage you will meet your arch rivals, reigning Champion Panathinaikos. You don’t have home court advantage, how do you view this series? Does the fact that you lost to them in last season’s final game of Final Four provide you with a sense of urgency to take revenge?
Click on the Play icon below to hear the full interview.
Photographs courtesy of Mansoor Ahmed Photography and Maccabi Electra