Shalom Life | October 25, 2014

David Blatt Introduces Himself to the NBA

The Israeli-American coach brings confidence and humor as Head Coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers

By: Shaleni McBain

Published: June 26th, 2014 in Sports » Local

David Blatt Introduces Himself to the NBA

David Blatt, former Maccabi Tel Aviv coach, was officially introduced as the new head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers at a press conference Wednesday.

Blatt automatically put minds at ease and won over analysts when he brought along his fresh sense of humor and a thick air of confidence.

He warned everyone that he has won everywhere from Maccabi through Benetton through the Russian national team and back through Maccabi. Also, that he plans on doing the same in the NBA. Then he asked and hoped that he would have everyone's help along the way.

Blatt used humor to admit he won't replicate the winning percentage he had with Maccabi in the Israeli league.

"I hope I bring the philosophy of Maccabi Tel Aviv, which is never lose a game," he declared. "Not one or there's going to be a countrywide investigation." Then, he added to the amusement of the reporters in the room, "I hope the manager didn't hear me say that."

Blatt now owns the distinction of being the first European head coach to take the head of an NBA team. The 55-year-old brings a proven track record, complete with Israeli, Russian and European titles.

"I've been coaching for over 20 years in Europe I played for another 12 years professionally. It's a great honor to represent the fine European coaches that I've worked with, and coached against. It's a great honor to have received the benefit of coaching great players, many of whom are now in the NBA and many others who could be. "

The Massachusetts native added: "I know that I'm carrying a torch. I hope like hell that I don't drop it. I don't plan on it."

Blatt touched base on the differences between the European and American styles of basketball, yet rejected any idea that the adjustment would impede on his path to success.

"The game is not so different as people think it is," he said. "It's a little bit longer here. Perhaps the level of athleticism and speed all around the court is different. But it's not like playing baseball and soccer. It's still the same game. I've coached enough international games, participated in enough events that include NBA players and NBA teams to know that when you play the game right it doesn't really make a difference where you play it."

Blatt acknowledged that he is aware that the Cavaliers are in far from an ideal position.

"Like many teams we have many areas for improvement that we must address," he said. "We have a new system to incorporate and our team tactic and learning curve in terms of implementing a new style team.

When asked about the philosophy he planned to bring to the Cavaliers, he referred to Drew Kennedy, a former player of Blatt’s who drove in from Chicago for the press conference.

"He'll tell you the same thing I'm going to tell you right now," he said. "It's always been the same: Play hard, play together play to win and have fun. There's not a lot I can tell you tactically right now until I sit down with the players and get inside their heads, till I see the final roster is gonna be."

Blatt describes himself as the coach who learns "from what you have" rather than a "systematic" coach.

"I'm not an offensive or defensive coach," he said. "I'm a basketball coach."

Air Canada Centre Painted Blue & White As Jewish Toronto Cheers On Maccabi Haifa [PICS] Air Canada Centre Painted Blue & White As Jewish Toronto Cheers On Maccabi Haifa [PICS] TrendingLeBron James Would Like to Visit Israel LeBron James Would Like to Visit Israel TrendingPalestinian American Claims She Was Assaulted by Jewish "Gang of Thugs" at Nets/Maccabi Game Palestinian American Claims She Was Assaulted by Jewish "Gang of Thugs" at Nets/Maccabi Game Trending
 

Seinfeld Finally Joins Facebook and Instagram [VIDEO]

October 24, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Seinfeld Finally Joins Facebook and Instagram [VIDEO]

A hilarious video shows Michael Richards asking Seinfeld to take out Netflix and Hulu.

Read More

Seth Rogen and Megan Fox Join James Franco’s ‘Zeroville’

October 24, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Seth Rogen and Megan Fox Join James Franco’s ‘Zeroville’

Rogen and Fox will be co-starring alongside Will Ferrell, Danny McBride and Dave Franco

Read More

Mila Kunis Dolls Are Coming To a Store Near You

October 24, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Mila Kunis Dolls Are Coming To a Store Near You

Adorable dolls featuring Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum in 'Jupiter Ascending' are coming out in January

Read More

Jews Around the World to Take Part in the Shabbat Project

October 24, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
Jews Around the World to Take Part in the Shabbat Project

Jews in 460 cities across the world to take part in the inspirational Jewish initiative, including Paula Abdul and Mayim Bialik

Read More

Wix Named 'Hottest Middle Eastern Startup'

October 24, 2014 | By Viva Sarah Press
Wix Named 'Hottest Middle Eastern Startup'

Inc. magazine credits Israeli DIY website creation platform with taking a complicated task and making it enjoyable

Read More

‘Fury’ A Blistering Account of World War II—Sans the Holocaust

October 24, 2014 | By Jason Stack, JNS.org
‘Fury’ A Blistering Account of World War II—Sans the Holocaust

The Brad Pitt and Shia LaBeouf-starring film essentially omits the brunt of the Holocaust from World War II

Read More

Israeli Company Shows that Energy Does in Fact Grow on Trees

October 24, 2014 | By NoCamels Team
Israeli Company Shows that Energy Does in Fact Grow on Trees

The eTree is a solar-powered urban habitat that is constructed from metal pipes and topped with solar panels

Read More

For the First Time Ever, Women of the Wall Hold Torah Reading at the Kotel

October 24, 2014 | By Kobi Nachshoni
For the First Time Ever, Women of the Wall Hold Torah Reading at the Kotel

Western Wall rabbi says "This will never happen again" after the group managed to smuggle a tiny scroll into the women's section of the Western Wall

Read More

More Headlines