Knicks News: Ex-Cavaliers Coach David Blatt Hired by NY as Consultant

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistDecember 18, 2019

Olympiacos' US head coach forward David Blatt looks on during the Euroleague basketball match between LDLC ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne and Olympiakos Basket Balle in Villeurbanne, central-eastern France on October 4, 2019. (Photo by ROMAIN LAFABREGUE / AFP) (Photo by ROMAIN LAFABREGUE/AFP via Getty Images)

The New York Knicks announced Wednesday they've hired former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach David Blatt as a basketball operations consultant.

NY_KnicksPR @NY_KnicksPR

NY Knicks announce the hiring of David Blatt as a basketball operations consultant. https://t.co/m8eHSASaQH

Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News provided further details about Blatt's role:

Stefan Bondy @SBondyNYDN

Knicks have hired David Blatt as a consultant. He is close with Steve Mills -- they were teammates at Princeton -- and this will be a front office role, not a coaching role.

The 60-year-old Boston native spent over three decades in Europe and Asia as a player and coach before returning to the United States to lead the Cavs' coaching staff in 2014.

His results were terrific. Cleveland posted an 83-40 record across his season-and-a-half in charge, and it reached the 2015 NBA Finals, losing to the Golden State Warriors.

He was still fired in January 2016, however, and ESPN's Chris Broussard reported: "Many Cavs players, especially the veterans, felt that Blatt was in over his head as coach and questioned whether he knew the league well enough to lead them to a championship."

Assistant coach Tyronn Lue was elevated to head coach and led the Cavaliers to the 2016 title by getting revenge on the Warriors in the Finals.

Blatt returned to Europe to coach Turkish team Darussafaka (2016-18) and Greek club Olympiacos (2018-19) before announcing his retirement from coaching in coordination with his Knicks hiring.

His wide-ranging list of accolades includes being named Euroleague Coach of the Year in 2014 while with Israeli club Maccabi Tel Aviv and leading the Russia national team to a bronze medal in the 2012 Summer Olympics.

He joins the Knicks during a period of transition. Head coach David Fizdale was fired in early December following a 4-18 start to the season, while team president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry find themselves on the hot seat.

Blatt's vast experience and overseas basketball connections should prove valuable to New York as the storied franchise attempts to reverse its recent fortunes.