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University of Arizona hires notable former NBA head coach

Tommy Lloyd looking on

Feb 27, 2020; Spokane, Washington, USA; Gonzaga Bulldogs assistant coach Tommy Lloyd looks on before a game against the San Diego Toreros at McCarthey Athletic Center. The Bulldogs won 94-59. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Several years after coaching in the NBA, David Blatt is headed to the U of A.

Israeli outlet Ynet News reported Sunday that the ex-NBA head coach Blatt has been hired by the University of Arizona as a consultant for their men’s basketball team. Blatt currently heads the managing committee for Israeli pro team Maccabi Tel Aviv. But Blatt, who is battling multiple sclerosis, has decided to step down from that position due to difficulties with the frequent air travel, a Maccabi spokesperson was quoted as saying.

The 64-year-old Blatt is one of the most successful basketball coaches in Israel history, having won five Israeli Super League championships and six Israeli Cup titles as a head coach. He then made the leap to the NBA in 2014, coaching LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers for one-and-a-half total seasons before getting fired. Blatt got a job with another NBA organization but eventually returned to Maccabi in 2022. He also now does professional consulting work for the Canadian national basketball team.

As for Arizona, they have continued their excellence under coach Tommy Lloyd, who is entering his third year in charge. Though the Wildcats suffered an embarrassing upset in the first round of the NCAA Tournament last year, they have still gone a pristine 61-11 (.847) under Lloyd with two conference tournament titles and a conference regular season title. Arizona also landed a big transfer a few months ago and now are hiring a big basketball figure in Blatt to boot.

H/T HoopsHype


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