Olympiacos Piraeus released a letter from head coach David Blatt on Monday revealing that the former Alexander Gomelskiy Coach of the Year has been diagnosed with primary progressive multiple sclerosis. In the letter, Blatt detailed how the disease is affecting him and what he is doing to continue leading the Reds in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague this season in the best way possible.
"Fatigue/balance and strength are real issues for me. I have taken on a specific regimen of strengthening and balance exercises as well as swimming and aquatic workouts to improve overall body conditioning and help with muscle pliability and motion," Blatt wrote.
"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. I am fortunate. I have great doctors trainers physical therapists and management that accept my disabilities and help me overcome. How could I possibly complain? I absolutely cannot and will not."
Blat, 60, enters his 12th season as a EuroLeague head coach, during which he has sat on the bench for five different teams. He led Maccabi Tel Aviv to three EuroLeague Final Fours and the 2014 championship. Blatt has also coached Bennetton Treviso in Italy and Efes Pilsen Istanbul and Darussafaka Istanbul in Turkey. He guided Darussafaka to the 7DAYS EuroCup crown in 2018.
The highly-respected head coach has also won six national championships and seven domestic cups, captured the 2005 FIBA Europe League title with Dynamo St. Petersburg and took Cleveland to the 2015 NBA Finals. He spent half a dozen years coaching the Russian national team, with which he won the gold medal at EuroBasket 2007 and bronze medals at EuroBasket 2011 and the 2012 Olympic Games.
"The entire Euroleague Basketball family stands beside Coach Blatt," Euroleague Basketball President and CEO Jordi Bertomeu said. "During his professional career, he has gone through and overcome situations of every kind and we are confident that his determination and positive attitude will help him in this difficult time."
The full text of the letter can be found at https://olympiacosbc.gr/en/news/news/5640