David Blatt is still licking his wounds after being fired by the Cleveland Cavaliers last week, but his next job in the NBA could be just beyond the horizon..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Will New York City be David Blatt’s next destination? According to a report on ESPN, New York Knicks president Phil Jackson is interested in speaking to the former Cleveland Cavaliers coach regarding the head coaching position in the Big Apple.
“New York Knicks interim coach Kurt Rambis continues to get strong consideration to become the team’s full-time coach,” the article read, “but David Blatt is among the names who interest the Knicks.”
Blatt guided the Cavs to the NBA Finals last year before being surprisingly sacked in January with the Cavs leading the East at 30-11. Blatt led the Cavaliers to a 53-29 record in his first season with the team in 2014/15 and had a winning percentage of 0.732 in his 1½ seasons with Cleveland.
He has the highest winning percentage (minimum 10 games) of any coach fired during a season.
Adding to the intrigue of the Knicks’ reported interest in Blatt is the fact New York general manager Steve Mills was a teammate of Blatt’s at Princeton.
Other available coaches Jackson may be considering include Brian Shaw, Tom Thibodeau, Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson, with Knicks legend Patrick Ewing, currently the lead assistant with the Charlotte Hornets, also expressing an interest in interviewing for the position.
Rambis has a 9-18 record as interim coach and Jackson has hinted that he may allow him to coach the club on a full-time basis.
“Kurt and I have a relationship that goes back to 2001,” Jackson said.
“He knows the ins and outs, what pleases me and [what] probably I want to have changed.”
Rambis coached the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2009/10 and 2010/11, accumulating a 32-132 record.
Blatt is reportedly also in the running for the head coach job with the Brooklyn Nets, owned by Russian businessman Mikhail Prokhorov.
“He’d fit pretty good for this team, especially if like everybody says we try and build a new team and have young pieces,” Nets guard Sergey Karasev, who played under Blatt in Russia, told The New York Post. “So he’d be a perfect fit over here.”