HoopsHype David Blatt rumors

September 9, 2011 Updates
September 9, 2010 Updates

After the game, though, Blatt and Kryzewski no doubt came down with sore digits with all the handshakes and pats on the back they gave it each other. Krzyzewski started out by saying Blatt is a "terrific coach'' who's "had an amazing career coaching in Russia.'' Blatt followed by lauding Krzyzewski and by bringing up an interesting point about his five years at the helm for Team USA. "I think that one of the things I most appreciate is what's happened with U.S. basketball under the guidance of Coach K and his people is they have recognized and realized how to play the European game and at the same time still maintain the elements and the advantages that the Americans players, the American game have to offer them,'' Blatt said. FanHouse.com

The Americans figured out the pick-and-rolls the Russians were running with success when they took a 35-30 lead early in the second quarter. At the same time, they were turning loose Durant, who ended up playing 37 minutes. "I learned in coaching you should give your best player the ball a lot of times to make you look good as a coach,'' Krzyzewski said. "Probably the worst coaching move would have been to take him out of the game.'' FanHouse.com

After Mike Krzyzewski’s insinuation that Russian coach David Blatt was less than patriotic for suggesting the United States hadn’t been cheated out of a gold medal in the 1972 Olympics, Blatt fired back at the Team USA coach on Thursday morning. “I think Mike’s overlooked the fact that I’m every bit as much of an American as him,” Blatt told Yahoo! Sports at his team’s hotel. “In America, we’re taught that freedom of speech and freedom of thought allow us to try and view things objectively, form our own opinions and express them. “The ability to do that without risking it being called an act of un-patriotism may be lost upon him.” Yahoo! Sports

“I’m not Russian,” Blatt countered to Yahoo! Sports. “I’m an American-Israeli. But I’m proud that I can view things objectively and form my own opinion with the hope that it doesn’t insult anybody. If anything, it only asks people to be a little more open-minded and fair about things. “If there’s anything that living in Europe the past 30 years has taught me, it’s to try to view issues like this from all sides, and form an opinion based on facts and perspective and impartiality – even if it isn’t popular or goes against the tide. That’s the only way we can make any progress in life.” Yahoo! Sports

September 8, 2010 Updates

Blatt is a proud American, but sees the world and the game with a far more discerning, critical eye. Whenever Russia is finished in these worlds, Blatt told Yahoo! Sports he will resign as the national coach. Six years ago, Blatt, one of Europe’s most accomplished coaches, was hired to push Russian basketball beyond a cold-war militaristic mindset of coaching that had too grudgingly evolved despite the Westernization of its players. They were millionaires now, and no one embodied that transformation of the country’s basketball player than its biggest star, the temperamental Utah Jazz diva, Andrei Kirilenko. “He’s a max contract player in the NBA, making $80 million, and that changed everything for the Russian player,” Blatt said. “Andrei brought Russian basketball to the world stage and in a user-friendly way. Andrei was a friendly Drago. He had an athleticism, a skill, of a player that people were used to seeing from an American player. Yahoo! Sports

“It’s an enormous responsibility that he took on, but I don’t know if he took it on actively. He carried that torch, but he didn’t carry it to the max. He let the torch start to carry him. In all honesty, Andrei epitomizes what’s going to happen in this whole international competitive environment: These competitions are slowly, surely going to go by the wayside.” Yahoo! Sports

When your nation’s best player is a flake, good luck building a national team around him. AK-47 is no product of a Red Army team, but the spoils of teenage sensation who got too much, too young. Just like what happens in the United States – and just about everywhere else in basketball now. Kirilenko comes and goes with the national team, and passed on playing in these world championships. Once, this was the biggest basketball tournament in Europe, but the best players from most of these countries are now sitting it out. When Kirilenko stayed home, so did Russia’s best point guard, J.R. Holden. Blatt needed Holden to handle the USA’s pressure on the ball and needed the wildly skilled Kirilenko to try to match Kevin Durant(notes). “With them, maybe we have a 1-in-10 chance to beat this U.S. team,” Blatt said. “Without them? Maybe it’s 1 in 100.” Yahoo! Sports

September 7, 2010 Updates

Blatt said he might resign in order to spend more time with his family during summers in Israel. Blatt, who also has coached in Turkey, Italy and Greece, will be returning as head coach with Maccabi Tel Aviv, a team he led for two seasons early last decade. For now, Blatt will try to take down the mighty Americans. "I guess I'm going to have to bring my A-game, and so are my players to just try to compete because they got it all over us everywhere you look ... all things considered, I'd rather be in Philadelphia right now,'' said Blatt, using a legendary W.C. Fields quip. "I really don't want to play them. But we're going to, and from my guys I think it's a great, fun thing. I know my guys. I know they will compete.'' FanHouse.com

September 6, 2010 Updates

Blatt’s success with Dynamo St. Petersburg ultimately led to his becoming the coach of the Russian national team. Born in Louisville, Ky., raised outside of Boston, educated at Princeton and now a resident of Israel, Blatt has a full appreciation of his atypical path. “My story is amazing,” Blatt said in typically blunt fashion. “An American Jewish Israeli who coaches Russia. When I think about it, I’m amazed by it.” New York Times

Whether Blatt’s smarts and impressive coaching résumé will lead him to the N.B.A. is a trickier question. Blatt, 51, said that at this point in his career, he was not interested in becoming a third or fourth assistant for a team. He said that if someone were to come to him with a significant offer, he would look at it. “Just like the Russian national team coming at me took a lot of courage, it would take a lot of courage on the part of someone to make a move like that,” Blatt said. New York Times

Carril, who worked as an assistant with the Sacramento Kings, said that Blatt could surely succeed in the N.B.A but that he was worried the N.B.A. culture might not accept him. “In the N.B.A., what I found out, it’s more important to have a name when you say something than it is what you say,” Carril said. “It’s kind of ridiculous.” Blatt has no problem with long odds. He has been beating them his entire career. And if Russia’s Princeton-style offense can rattle the Americans on Thursday, there is no doubt it would force a few more people in the United States to pay attention. New York Times

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