Former NBA coach Blatt leaves Olympiakos

Piraeus (Greece) (AFP) –


Olympiakos announced Sunday the departure of former Cleveland Cavaliers coach David Blatt, who in August revealed his diagnosis with primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS).

"It is a difficult moment for everyone since we part ways with a great coach but most of all a wonderful person," the Greek basketball club said.

Blatt, 60, said in a statement that he and Olympiakos had reached a mutual decision that was "in the best interests of both sides".

"My time in Greece with Olympiakos has been meaningful and significant in many ways. I am very appreciative of the people and family I have found here," he said.

"I have nothing but respect for the management, players and staff that I have had the pleasure to work with and wish only the best for them."

It was not clear if the decision was directly related to Blatt's health or the club's mediocre record since his arrival at Olympiakos last season.

Blatt, who led the Cavaliers to the NBA Finals in 2015, revealed he had been diagnosed with PPMS less than two months ago.

"I am a coach and my job is to lead and teach and inspire a lot of people. Not being as agile or active doesn't affect my ability to do those things," Blatt said at the time.

"I am fortunate. I have great doctors, trainers, physical therapists and management that accept my disabilities and help me overcome."

Blatt, an Israeli American, was in the second of a two-year contract with Olympiakos. He led Maccabi Tel Aviv to the EuroLeague title in 2014 and also guided the Russian national team to bronze at the 2012 Olympics.