The Cleveland Cavaliers took their nickname from England. They grabbed their new coach from Israel.
The Cavaliers have hired Dave Blatt, according to Yahoo! Sports. The four-year deal reportedly could award the NBA rookie coach $20 million.
Blatt led Macabbi Tel Aviv to the Euroleague championship victory over Real Madrid this past season. The 1981 Princeton grad competed professionally in Israel for over a decade before becoming one of the most successful coaches overseas. The hiring marks the first time an NBA franchise has named a new head coach directly from a professional league outside of the United States.
The hiring comes on the heels of the San Antonio Spurs, a team whose core players come from outside of the continental United States, winning its fifth NBA Finals in fifteen years.
The Cavaliers own the top pick in the upcoming NBA draft. They’ve struggled since losing LeBron James to free agency four years ago. With three top picks in the last four years, Cleveland appears poised to rebound from its losing ways.
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