MOSCOW, October 1 (RIA Novosti)
A leading member of Russia’s Olympic bronze medal-winning basketball team called for coach David Blatt to be replaced by a Russian in comments to R-Sport on Monday.
Blatt led Russia to its first-ever Olympic medal at London 2012 but has not decided whether to extend his contract, pending discussions with the national federation.
“I think now might be a good time to switch over,” Russia and CSKA Moscow forward Viktor Khryapa said, referring to a switch from foreign coaches to Russians.
Evgeny Pashutin, the coach of Lokomotiv-Kuban who won the Eurocup with UNICS Kazan last year, might be a good candidate, Khryapa said.
“We’ve got good young coaches, Evgeny Pashutin for example. If we don’t start [employing Russians] then we could forget about Russian coaches.”
Blatt’s work would be a model for any future coach to follow, Khryapa said.
“Ideally, of course, you need a Russian person to coach the national team and for it to get the top results, like it has for the last seven years with David Blatt.”
The U.S.-born Blatt has combined his work with Russia with a full-time job as coach of Euroleague side Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel.
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The main event of the third day of the 11th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi was the closing session with President Vladimir Putin. The atmosphere was calm and open, despite the current political tensions and the Russia-West confrontation. The Russian president said that it corresponded to the spirit of the Valdai Club.