There’s is still no head coach for the Cleveland Cavaliers, who are finding it hard to make a decision between former player and fan favorite Mark Price who has plenty of experience as an NBA assistant, or go with David Blatt, who has won everything possible at club and national level in Europe, but has never coached in the NBA or any North American basketball league.
The Cavs will probably make their decision in a week. They’ve interviewed Price twice, and have also given Tyronn Lue and Alvin Gentry a couple of interviews. Blatt, who is also a candidate to be an assistant with the Golden State Warriors, will meet with the Cavs for the first time after parting ways with Maccabi Tel-Aviv shortly after leading them to a treble this season: The Israeli championship, state Cup and the Euroleague title, beating Real Madrid in the final.
Price has been an assistant with the Denver Nuggets, Atlanta Hawks, Golden State Warriors, Orlando Magic and Charlotte Bobcats over the last seven years. A Georgia Tech graduate, Price spent the first 10 seasons of his NBA career with the Cavs. When he wasn’t injured, he was one of the best point guard in the league and is still one of the greatest shooters in NBA history, finishing his career with 40.2% from beyond the arc and 90.2% from the line.
If you’ll ask Cavs fans, Price is probably the way they’d like to go. He is still the franchise’s all-time leader in assists, free throw percentage and three-pointers made. His no. 25 jersey was retired in 1999, although he did spend the last few years of his career with the Warriors, Magic and Washington Wizards (Bullets at the time).
Blatt has done it all in European basketball. He has mostly coached in Israel, where he also played during the 1980’s and early 1990’s. He was part of three Euroleague titles with Maccabi as an assistant. Besides his Euroleague success, he won an Italian championship when coaching Benetton Treviso, but what might be his greatest accomplishment came as the national team coach with Russia, leading them to the first place in the 2007 Eurobasket and third place four years later. He also coached Russia to a bronze Olympic medal in 2012.
The Cavs have went through two head coaches since LeBron James left in the summer of 2010 – Byron Scott and Mike Brown, who was fired when James left the team only to be fired again four years later. Despite two number one draft picks since then (and now they’ll have a third) they’re still looking to make the playoffs for the first time without James since he was a number one pick in 2003.