Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv announced on Thursday evening that David Blatt is stepping down as head coach after four seasons at the helm. Maccabi finished its fantastic season on Wednesday by winning the Israeli League championship, completing a dream campaign that also saw the team lift the Israeli Cup and the Turkish Airlines Euroleague trophy. Blatt has been among the most-successful coaches in Maccabi history; over the course of two tenures consisting of six seasons as Maccabi’s head coach, Blatt guided the team to three Euroleague Final Fours as well as five Israeli League championships and five Israeli Cups. The defining moments of his time in Tel Aviv came in May, when Blatt led Maccabi to the Euroleague title at the Final Four in Milan with a come-from-behind semifinals victory over CSKA Moscow in the semifinal and an overtime win over Real Madrid in the championship game.
Flanked by Maccabi club chairman Shimon Mizrahi and one of its owners, David Federman, Blatt thanked his entire staff, including associate coach Guy Goodes, fitness coach Avi Kowalski, assistant coaches Alon Stein and former assistants Derrick Sharp and Charles Barton among others, his players and the entire management staff and ownership team.
Mizrahi made the official announcement at the start of the press conference, explaining that he had met with Blatt earlier in the day and the coach informed him then of his intentions. Mizrahi added that Maccabi’s door will always be open to Blatt in the future.
Asked about where he will next coach, Blatt said: “I don’t know, there are several possibilities and they are all good possibilities. I wanted to finish the season here with Maccabi before deciding about next season.” He added that “most of the stories published [about teams interested in him] have been true.”
Blatt said that he recommended Goodes, a former Maccabi star, has been Blatt’s top assistant since 2010, as the team’s next head coach. Mizrahi said that the club had not yet discussed the identity of the next head coach, though it would become the next priority.