Former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach David Blatt returns to Europe looking to create a sustainable Turkish team in Darussafaka Dogus.
Blatt goes from NBA to Turkish club Darussafaka
SHOWS: ISTANBUL, TURKEY (JUNE 23, 2016) (REUTERS – ACCESS ALL)
1. FORMER CLEVELAND CAVALIERS HEAD COACH DAVID BLATT AT ANNOUNCEMENT OF HIS NEW TEAM DARUSSAFAKA DOGUS ISTANBUL
2. (SOUNDBITE) (English) HEAD COACH OF DARUSSAFAKA DOGUS, DAVID BLATT, SPEAKING ABOUT CLEVELAND CAVALIERS ACHIEVEMENT IN NBA, SAYING:
“Congratulations to them. It’s a historic accomplishment and since I worked closely with so many of the people there I can tell you that they deserve it. They are a very hard working group of people.”
3. NEWS CONFERENCE
4. (SOUNDBITE) (English) HEAD COACH OF DARUSSAFAKA DOGUS, DAVID BLATT, SAYING:
“I feel excited that I am here and starting a new and challenging opportunity in a great place with Darussafaka in Turkey and I am thankful for the opportunity.”
STORY: Fired Cleveland Cavaliers head coach David Blatt set out his plans to build on the success of his new Turkish club Darussafaka Dogus on Thursday (June 23) as he
returned to European basketball days after his former club clinched the NBA title.
Blatt congratulated the Cavaliers on their success. “It’s a historic accomplishment and since I worked closely with so many of the people there I can tell you that they
deserve it. They are a very hard working group of people,” he said in an interview, but did not want to dwell on the past.
“I feel excited that I am here and starting a new and challenging opportunity in a great place with Darussafaka in Turkey and I am thankful for the opportunity,” he said.
LeBron James’s Cavaliers fired Blatt in January, four days after suffering their worst loss of the NBA season, and replaced him with assistant coach Tyronn Lue. The surprise move to fire the second-year coach, who took Cleveland to the NBA Finals last year, came with the Cavaliers (30-11) holding a 3-1/2 game lead in the East.
James went on to power the Cavaliers to a 93-89 victory over the Golden State Warriors to complete an improbable comeback and capture their first NBA championship.
Prior to joining the Cavaliers, Blatt had no NBA experience but was a well-respected and accomplished international coach. He last coached in Europe in 2014 when he led Maccabi Tel Aviv to the Euroleague title.
Darussafaka signed a long-term cooperation deal with the Dogus conglomerate in 2013 and substantially won promotion to the top league, where it took third place in the domestic season last year.
Blatt also led the Russian national team to the 2007 Eurobasket championship, 2011 Eurobasket bronze medal and 2012 London Olympics bronze medal.