Cavaliers hire David Blatt as head coach

CLEVELAND – David Blatt went overseas to chase his basketball dreams. He’s coming back to fulfill them.

One of Europe’s top coaches, Blatt was hired Friday by the Cavaliers, who ended a sweeping, 39-day search with an out-of-the-box selection they hope changes their fortunes.

American-born, Princeton-schooled and considered one of the game’s brightest offensive minds, the 55-year-old Blatt has long been interested in coaching in the NBA and the Cavs will give him his first shot.

The club signed him to a reported three-year deal that includes a team option for a fourth year. Cleveland contacted high-profile college coaches and interviewed both retreaded head coaches and on-the-rise assistants before zeroing in and landing Blatt, who won several European titles while coaching in Israel and guided Russia to a bronze medal at the London Olympics two years ago.

Blatt will be introduced by the team Wednesday, one day before the club picks first in this year’s NBA draft.

Cleveland’s third coach in three years, Blatt replaces Mike Brown, who was fired on May 12.