David Blatt has been appointed Chief Coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Blatt, 55, has made NBA history by becoming the first-ever person to be handed a chief coaching position without any prior experience in the NBA. He has signed a three-year deal and one-year extension option that could be worth as much as $20 million with performance bonuses.
Blatt said: "I'm really happy because I'm realizing a dream. It's also a great step for European basketball, which having raised some great players who gave a lot to the NBA, now has a coach."
The Israeli media has compared Blatt's achievement with Avram Grant's appointment as Chelsea manager in 2008. But while Chelsea is a big spending club, the Cavaliers are on a tight budget by NBA standards and club owner Dan Gilbert was clearly impressed by Blatt's ability to win the European Championship with Maccabi last month with a team on a far lower budget than its rivals.
Gilbert said: "David Blatt is going to bring some of the most innovative approaches found in professional basketball anywhere on the globe.''
Blatt's first task was to help pick the NBA draft this week and before the season starts in October, the Cavaliers will play a friendly game against Maccabi in Cleveland.