U.S.-Israeli basketball coach David Blatt was named on Thursday as one of 29 nominees for the International Basketball Federation’s (FIBA) Hall of Fame Class of 2022.
During his illustrious coaching career, Blatt lifted three European titles, including the EuroCup with Russian side Dynamo Saint Petersburg in 2005 and Turkish side Darussafaka in 2018, and the Euroleague with Maccabi Tel Aviv in 2014.
Blatt also led the Russian national basketball team to glory, winning the 2007 EuroBasket final against reigning world champions Spain. He also led the Russian team to a bronze medal in the London 2012 Olympic Games.
In 2014, Blatt took over a star-studded Cleveland Cavaliers team, starring LeBron James alongside Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love. He led them to the 2015 NBA Finals in his first season.
He guided them to the top of their conference the next year, but was fired mid-season, and subsequently returned to coaching in Europe.
Blatt retired from coaching in 2019 at the age of 60 after he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
The 62-year-old could become the third Israeli ever to receive one of the basketball's highest honors after Maccabi Tel Aviv's legendary shooting guard Mickey Berkowitz and late journalist and sports executive Noah Kliger.
This year's candidate shortlist includes other acclaimed coaches such as the most decorated European coach of all time Željko Obradović, Serbia's Božidar Maljković, and Italy's Valerio Bianchini and Sandro Gamba among others.