Former Cavs HC David Blatt Resigns from Olympiacos After MS Diagnosis

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistOctober 7, 2019

FILE - In this Oct. 8, 2015, file photo, Cleveland Cavaliers' David Blatt gestures during an NBA preseason basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers, in Philadelphia. Former Cavaliers coach David Blatt has accepted a championship ring from the team despite being fired last season. Blatt was dismissed midway through his second season by Cleveland. Blatt told Israel-based reporter David Pick that he accepted the ring from the Cavs “because they presented it to me in a way that was very respectful.” He said the Cavs told him that he contributed to the championship. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File)
Matt Slocum/Associated Press

Olympiacos coach David Blatt parted ways with the franchise after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis earlier this year. 

"After a long and respectful discussion between the owners and myself, our two parties have decided it's in the best interest of both sides to part ways," Blatt said in a statement.

Blatt, 60, went 15-15 in Euroleague play during his lone season at Olympiacos. The former Cleveland Cavaliers coach took over in June 2018 on a two-year contract.

“It is a difficult moment for everyone since we part ways with a great coach, but most of all a wonderful person,” Olympiacos said in a statement, per AgonaSport.com. “We have had the honor to work with one of the biggest figures of world basketball and we have gained a lot from his presence in our team. David Blatt has served the club consistently, courageously and selflessly in a crucial moment for Olympiacos. He has supported our club on every single decision we had to make.

“We would like to thank him for everything he has offered to the team and we wish him the very best from the bottom of our hearts both personally and professionally.”

Blatt announced his MS diagnosis in August, initially saying he planned to continue coaching. It's unclear if Blatt has any plans on finding another coaching position or if this parting of ways will lead to retirement. Multiple sclerosis is a progressive nerve disorder for which there is no cure, though treatment can slow the disease's progression.

Blatt is one of the most decorated coaches in European basketball history, winning the 2014 Euroleague championship with Maccabi Tel Aviv. He left Europe for a 123-game stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers, posting an 83-40 record and reaching the 2015 NBA Finals. However, Blatt struggled to find common ground with LeBron James and was fired during the 2015-16 season, after which the Cavs won the NBA championship.

Blatt returned to Europe in June 2016, leading Darussafaka to the 2018 EuroCup championship.