David Blatt Rumors
It’s premature to speculate on where the Knicks might go if they decide to let Jeff Hornacek go after the season. The group of available candidates could include Jason Kidd, David Fizdale, David Blatt, Monty Williams and current ESPN broadcaster and former Warriors coach Mark Jackson, who has strong relationships with several people in the Knicks organization. San Antonio Spurs assistant Ettore Messina will likely draw interest from teams with vacancies as well.
Just before an All-Star game half a world away, former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach David Blatt appeared to be enjoying some of the pain that his former employer is going through. Blatt was asked about his expectations for the All-Star game and talked about the defense, which then led to him cracking a joke about the Cavs giving tying a franchise record on Saturday by giving up 148 points in a loss to the Thunder. “I hope we don’t give up as many points as the Cavaliers gave up last night,” he said before smiling.
Irving, on the other hand, had just played through three trying seasons as the young star of the then-moribund Cavaliers. He had a simple wish. “I can still remember Kyrie telling me, ‘I want to come to the game and be happy, and I don’t feel that way,’ ” Blatt said last week, relating that old conversation. “It tells you the importance of feeling this way to Ky. He wants to be happy, and I think that’s working for him now.”
Blatt was moved by Irving’s nerve. “The first thing that hit me about it was that Kyrie made a very profound statement about himself when he requested a trade,” Blatt said. “It’s a situation that hasn’t been easily interpreted by everyone. It was brave, and it’s one of those things that makes him a special kid.”
That fulfillment, according to Blatt, will come from Irving’s emergence as the top gun on a legitimate contender. “Ky is (now) the top dog, top of the totem pole, and he’s reveling in that,” he said. “Also incredible is the fact that he’s playing in a winning program. It’s up to him to do whatever it takes from here. This is where his potential is really going to come out, with the responsibilities of the team.”
“I had the opportunity to go back to Maccabi Tel Aviv or to go to Khimki Moscow and, ultimately, because of my desire not to commit long-term to anything beyond this coming season, I decided it would be best for me to stay here, and then after this season, reevaluate what I want to do with my career; whether I’m able to find an opportunity in the NBA next year, which was my goal, or whether I will again commit to a different kind of situation next season.
It won’t happen this summer. But Blatt is determined to give himself another chance to return to the NBA. “I have an end game and that end game is that I would really like to go back to the NBA,” Blatt told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday. “There were no changes in the NBA this year from a coaching standpoint and my real goal is to try next year to get back into the league as a head coach. It may happen and it may not happen. But I wanted to leave that door open for myself if the opportunity arises.”