David Blatt coaching Russian nat'l team 370 (R).
(photo credit: Ray Stubblebine / Reuters)
Two months after guiding the Russia national team to an Olympic bronze medal,
David Blatt announced on Tuesday that he was leaving the side after seven
The Maccabi Tel Aviv coach, who moved to Israel from Boston 31
years ago, accomplished remarkable success with the previously underachieving
side, but decided to call it a day after his greatest achievement at London
“With mixed emotions I announce my retirement from coaching the
Russian national team,” Blatt said.
“The Russian team has been a big part
of my professional life.
“Our joint accomplishments were outstanding and
historic and their effect on Russian basketball was tremendous.”
hadn’t finished any higher than fifth in its four European Championship
appearances before Blatt took charge, failing to even qualify for the 2004
However, Blatt led Russia to the European title in his
first major tournament with the team in 2007, also taking a bronze medal in
EuroBasket 2011 as well as finishing ninth at the 2008 Beijing
“These were seven beautiful and amazing years,” Blatt
“I retire today from the Russian national team with my head held up
high and with Russian basketball at its peak.
“I’m certain that Russian
basketball has a bright future.”
Alexander Krasnenkov, Russian Basketball
Federation president, thanked Blatt for his contribution.
guidance, Russia made amazing progress and regained its place at the top of
European and world basketball,” Krasnenkov said.
“However, it would be a
mistake to appreciate Blatt’s work only according to the results of the national
“As well as the great achievements of the senior team, Blatt also
led a program to help develop the next generation of Russian basketball.”