American-Israeli basketball coach David Blatt has congratulated his former team the Cleveland Cavaliers for winning the 2016 NBA championship, Sports Illustrated reports.
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Blatt, who previously coached Maccabi Tel Aviv and the Israeli national team, was fired from the Cavaliers in January, at a time when the team was leading the league's Eastern Conference.
"My congratulations. An enormous accomplishment for the organization," Blatt wrote in a text message to basketball reporter David Pick. "A special and historic moment for Cleveland."
The question bothering many baseball fans on Twitter since the victory of the Cavaliers in the NBA Final, is whether Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert will award Blatt a championship ring for his contribution to the team in the first half of the season. Gilbert has so far been silent on the issue.
"No matter how you feel about Blatt as a coach, he clearly played a significant role in putting this team’s scheme together," wrote USA Today sports blogger Steven Ruiz.
"Rings should go to any member of the organization who contributed in some way to the team, and even the most staunch Blatt critic would admit he contributed to the Cavaliers run."
Another person who has asked Gilbert to reward Blatt with a ring is Zionist Union Knesset member Nachman Shai, The Jerusalem Post reported.
“We in Israel were proud of the achievements of one of our own, David Blatt, when you appointed him as the head coach of your team, and we of course, were sorry to see him go," Shai wrote in a letter to Gilbert. "Nevertheless, Israelis remain strong supporters of the Cavaliers, as do their many Jewish fans in Cleveland’s strong Jewish community."
“David played a key role in building the Cavaliers, guiding its players, and helping the team become championship-caliber,” he wrote. “That is why I want to encourage you to give David the respect and credit he deserves by giving him a championship ring, as is customary for players who have left mid-season."
Blatt, the 2014 Euroleague Coach of the Year, recently accepted a coaching position with Darüşşafaka of Turkey.