Just two months after he announced he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, former Cleveland Cavaliers coach David Blatt and Greek League powerhouse Olympiacos have agreed to mutually part ways, the organization announced on Sunday.
Blatt was in just his second season with Olympiacos, and said after his diagnosis in August that he hoped to keep coaching. The team went 15-15 under Blatt in his first year with the organization, and lost its season-opener on Friday.
“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, translated via 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 led the Cavaliers for a season and a half from 2014-2016, and most notably led them to the NBA Finals in 2015 during LeBron James’ first year back in Cleveland. He has had tremendous success internationally, picking up the EuroLeague championship in 2014 with Maccabi Tel Aviv, led Russia to the bronze medal in the 2012 Olympics and has won championships in the Italian League, Adriatic League, Israeli Super League and EuroBasket in 2007.
It’s unclear if Blatt — a Massachusetts native who played internationally for 12 years after his time at Princeton — will attempt to find a new coaching job given his recent multiple sclerosis diagnosis.
"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 the statement. “My time in Greece with Olympiacos has been meaningful and significant in many ways. I am very appreciative of the people and family I have found here. I have nothing but respect for the management, players, and staff that I have had the pleasure to work with and wish only the best for them."
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