Former Cavaliers coach David Blatt reveals he has multiple sclerosis, will remain coaching in EuroLeague for Olympiacos
Blatt, 60, led the Cavaliers to the NBA Finals in 2015
Former Cleveland Cavaliers coach David Blatt revealed on Monday that he is suffering from multiple sclerosis on the website of his current team, Olympiacos B.C. Blatt, 60, has spent only one year with Olympiacos, but he plans to keep coaching moving forward. Blatt explained that he was diagnosed several months ago, but that he is in good spirits and will use this experience in his coaching.
From Blatt's open letter:
"I am a coach and my job is to lead and teach and inspire a lot of people. Not being as agile or active doesn't affect my ability to do those things,'' Blatt, 60, said in the statement.
"How could I possibly complain? I absolutely cannot and will not. It's wasted effort and while I ask my players and staff to be the best version of themselves, I must ask and even demand from myself to do the same.''
Blatt was born in the United States, but has become a European coaching legend over the course of his career. His American playing career was limited to a four-year stint as a point guard at Princeton. When he went undrafted in 1981, he decided to play abroad. He carved out a 12-year career for himself in Israel before turning to coaching, where he found significantly more success than he ever did as a player.
As a coach, he has not only earned an Olympic bronze medal leading Russia in 2012, but has also won championships in the Italian League, the Adriatic League, the Israeli Super League and, most famously, the EuroLeague. That 2014 EuroLeague championship is part of what propelled him to the NBA, as he won it with an undermanned Maccabi Tel Aviv team. The Cavaliers hired him based off of that success, and while his tenure in Cleveland didn't last very long, he did manage to take his team to the NBA Finals.
Blatt returned to Europe after his brief stint in the NBA, spending a year in Turkey before landing with Greek power Olympiacos. He is remaining in his post despite this diagnosis for the time being.
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