Jul 31, 2012; London, United Kingdom; Russia head coach David Blatt watches in the men's preliminary game against China during the London 2012 Olympic Games at Basketball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
The Atlanta Hawks are reportedly still in the market for another assistant coach and Larry Drew is reportedly in Israel observing long time Maccabi Tel Aviv head coach David Blatt. For those not familiar with Blatt, he coached the Russian National Team to a bronze medal at the 2012 Olympics and is somewhat of one of European basketball's best kept secrets.
As ProBasketballTalk's Kurt Helin points out, this could be a bona-fide steal of a move for the Hawks if they could land Blatt. He is one of the most respected basketball minds in the business outside of the United States.
This would be a smart hire by the Hawks. It gives them a quality coach on Drew's bench and potentially a future head coach if management ever decides to go that direction (and Blatt sticks).
That said, Blatt may or may not come. He has carved out a nice - and lucrative - career in Europe. He likes living in Israel. Not everyone will fall over themselves just to get any NBA job.
But it's something to watch. And a smart play by the Hawks whether it works out or not.
According to Hawks general manager Danny Ferry, head coach Larry Drew is in Israel only to observe Blatt while talking shop and sharing ideas.
"Larry respects the international game and is enjoying the opportunity to share ideas with David Blatt," Ferry wrote in a text message. "David is a heckuva coach and I know that Larry appreciates that David has been so open. I know Larry is enjoying the opportunity to closely watch [Maccabi's] program. It is a highly respected program."
So according to Ferry, this isn't a recruiting trip for Drew.