The Schmooze

LeBron James and His New Israeli Coach

Rookie Cleveland Cavaliers Coach David Blatt won a European title with Maccabi Tel Aviv. Now he gets to coach Lebron James. Getty Images

One year ago, David Blatt was working with Maccabi Tel Aviv’s management on signing new players for the upcoming season. A year later, Blatt is coaching the best basketball player on the planet — LeBron James.

After spending nearly a decade at the heralded Israeli club, Blatt was recently hired as the head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers. He is the first Israeli to ever coach a team in the NBA.

When Blatt signed the contract with the Cavs, he knew that they were heavily pursuing James, but he also knew there was no guarantee. Even if the Cavs didn’t sign James, Blatt would still be happy, given how hard he has worked to reach the NBA.

After James announced he was returning to Cleveland, Blatt realized how quickly things had changed since he signed his contract.

Suddenly the Cavilers are expected to make the playoffs, as they have all-star Kyrie Irving, Andrew Wiggins, who was the number one pick in this year’s NBA draft, and the king himself, LeBron James.

The question now is, will David Blatt live up to the pressure?

To find out, the Forward spoke with David Pick, a senior Correspondent for Eurobasket.com. Pick is currently in Las Vegas, covering the NBA summer league.

We asked Pick about what we should expect from Blatt in his first season in charge and if Blatt would be able to transform his coaching style from European basketball to an NBA style. Pick spent the season as a beat writer for Maccabi Tel Aviv and developed a relationship with Blatt on and off the court.

Raphael Gellar: When the season ends, do you think the Cavs will have had a successful season under David Blatt?

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LeBron James and His New Israeli Coach

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