Top of the week: David Blatt, the Israeli-American who was fired as head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers in January, reportedly is under consideration to become the head coach of the New York Knicks.
ESPN reported on April 11 that Blatt is in the running for the job currently being filled by interim coach Kurt Rambis, citing unnamed league sources.
Blatt said at the time of his firing that he planned to try to remain in the NBA, as opposed to returning to coaching in Israel and the European leagues, where he led Maccabi Tel Aviv to five national titles and the 2014 Euroleague championship and the Russian national team to a bronze medal during the 2012 London Olympics.
He was fired after leading the Cavs to the 2015 NBA Finals, where they lost to the Golden State Warriors in six games. At the time of his dismissal, the Cavs had the best record in the Eastern Conference.
He reportedly also is being considered by the Brooklyn Nets, the New York Post reported. The team is owned by Russian businessman Mikhail Prokhorov, who knows Blatt from his time as a coach in Moscow.
Playoff bound: Four teams featuring Jewish players will participate in the NHL post-season: Andre Burakovsky’s Washington Capitals finished in first place in the Eastern Conference with the best record in the league. They host the Philadelphia Flyers for the first two games of the best-of-seven series. Over in the West, the Dallas Stars took the top spot, although Jason Demers ended the season with a shoulder injury and probably won’t be available. They will face Jason Zucker and the Minnesota Wild in the first round; the Wild finished in the eighth and final playoff slot. Eric Nystrom and the Nashville Predators finished seventh in the West and will take on the Anaheim Ducks.
Lest we forget: As the Flyers prepare for their next game, they do so with the knowledge that they will be missing Ed Snider, one of the team’s founders in 1966. Snider, 83, died April 11 after a long fight with bladder cancer. Snider, who was involved in numerous Jewish causes, including the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the National Museum of American Jewish History, was also once a part-owner of the Philadelphia Eagles.
Sources: JTA, ESPN.com