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New York Knicks hire former Cavaliers coach David Blatt as consultant

By
Connor Grott
Former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach David Blatt led the team to the NBA Finals in 2015 before being fired the next season. File Photo by Brian Kersey/UPI
Former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach David Blatt led the team to the NBA Finals in 2015 before being fired the next season. File Photo by Brian Kersey/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 18 (UPI) -- The New York Knicks hired former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach David Blatt as a basketball operations consultant, the team announced Wednesday.

"I look forward to the next step in my career as I officially retire from coaching and pursue other opportunities in basketball," Blatt said in a statement. "I've long been intrigued by working in a front office and thank [team president] Steve [Mills] and [general manager] Scott [Perry] for the opportunity to be a resource to the basketball operations staff."

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Blatt was friends with Mills when the two were at Princeton. Blatt also remains close with Craig Robinson, who is working in the Knicks' front office. The three played together on the basketball team at Princeton.

"David Blatt is a great basketball mind and we look forward to adding him to the organization," Mills and Perry said in a joint statement. "He will be a great asset to our front office, G League team and international scouting."

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The Cavaliers hired Blatt in June 2014 before the organization knew that LeBron James would leave the Miami Heat and return to Cleveland. In Blatt's first season, he led the team to an NBA Finals berth.

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Despite guiding the Cavs to a 30-11 record in the next season, Blatt was fired in January 2016. Tyronn Lue replaced him as head coach and the Cavaliers went on to win the NBA title that year.

After leaving the NBA, Blatt returned to Europe and coached in the Turkish Super League. He later coached in the Greek Basket League but left his coaching job with Olympiakos in October, two months after announcing he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

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