SAN ANTONIO – Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr is pursuing a powerful coaching partnership with one of the world's best offensive minds, Maccabi Tel Aviv coach David Blatt, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Blatt's hiring would be an immense coup for Kerr, who could lean on the European coaching icon to transform what had been an underachieving and uncreative offense under former coach Mark Jackson.
Blatt is engaged in talks to join Kerr's staff as the top assistant coach, a move that Blatt had been reluctant to make in past years. Kerr and Blatt met on Thursday to discuss the job, league sources said.
Blatt has always been intrigued with coaching in the NBA, but had hoped he could make the transition from Europe into a head coaching job. Blatt has turned down NBA assistant jobs in the past.
The chance to transform Golden State's deeply talented offensive roster could become a springboard into a head coaching job elsewhere, and that holds appeal to Blatt, sources told Yahoo Sports. The Warriors have tremendous offensive weapons, including All-Star guard Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, and Kerr is trying to put together a staff to maximize those talents.
Blatt was born and raised in the United States, playing his college basketball for Pete Carril at Princeton, before embarking on a coaching career overseas.
Blatt coached an undermanned Macabbi Tel Aviv team to a dramatic upset victory over Real Madrid in the Euroleague championships. Blatt has had tremendous success across two decades overseas, winning the 2007 Eurobasket championship with Russia, and a bronze medal in the 2012 London Olympics.
As one major college coach who has studied Blatt's offense this spring told Yahoo Sports recently, "I am not sure there is anyone in the U.S. with the kind of creative efficiency or ability to change constantly like David Blatt has. He utilizes what his players do as well as anyone I've ever watched."
The Warriors practiced less than most young NBA teams under Jackson and never had much structure to schemes. Golden State had a top-five NBA defense, installed by former assistant Darren Erman, but always hovered in the middling of the most effective NBA offenses.