Today, seven years of American influence on Russian basketball ended with the resignation of David Blatt.
Now you might be confused as to why Russia’s national team basketball coach is a guy called David Blatt, and you have good reason. Blatt doesn’t look like a “-ski” or a “-ov” last name, so why is he coaching the Russians? It’s very well known that Russians love well…Russians, and this American’s exit from the job could close down not only relations between the NBA and the Russian League (after all there are only three Russian players in the NBA, and one Russian owner, Mikhail Prokhorov – who recently said he will be focusing less on business and basketball and more on politics).
Reaction on Twitter is one of sadness:
Despite not being Russian, and even worse – he’s Jewish! (Russia is notoriously anti-semetic) Blatt had a lot of success and respect within the Russian basketball community. He led the Russians to a Gold Medal at the 2007 Eurobasket Tournament, and a Bronze in the 2011 Olympics.
Blatt will stay as full time coach of Israeli League power Maccabi Tel Aviv, but Russia now has only 3 and a half years until the next Olympic games and no coach. They lost a true professional, and his influence in Russian basketball will be missed.