I’m learn­ing all the time, says David

The Jewish Chronicle - - SPORT - BY SI­MON GRIVER

BAS­KET­BALL DAVID Bl a t t be­lieves he can turn Cleve­land Cava­liers from nearly men into win­ners ahead of the new NBA sea­son.

Blatt en­joyed a re­mark­able first year, tak­ing the Cavs to the fi­nal. Now he is look­ing to go one bet­ter ahead of next week’s opener against the Chicago Bulls.

“I didn’t al­ways re­alise how much I had to learn about the game here,” said Blatt. “I did go through that and I feel that I’m start­ing the sea­son in a much bet­ter place and cer­tainly more con­fi­dent in un­der­stand­ing the things that I need to do.”

US-born and a former Prince­ton bas­ket­ball player, Blatt joined the NBA af­ter win­ning the Euro­pean Cup with Mac­cabi Tel Aviv and lead­ing Rus­sia to bronze at the Lon­don Olympics.

The Cavs made a slow start last sea­son and it is be­lieved the club were con­sid­er­ing sack­ing the Is­raeli last De­cem­ber. But a dra­matic im­prove­ment in form saw the Cavs win the East­ern Con­fer­ence and reach the fi­nals. Most cru­cially Blatt seemed to strike up a work­ing re­la­tion­ship with star player LeBron James.

“You’re talk­ing about coach­ing ar­guably the great­est player this game has ever known, and that re­la­tion­ship is al­ways evolv­ing,” said Blatt.

“It’s some­thing you sort of work at ev­ery sin­gle day, and find the right ways for us both to help this team come to the place we want to bring it to.”

Is­rael’s Omri Casspi be­gins a new two-year con­tract with the Sacra­mento Kings hav­ing fin­ished last sea­son in the best form of his five years in the NBA.

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