In a letter published to his team’s website Monday morning, former Cleveland Cavaliers coach David Blatt shared he was diagnosed with primary progressive multiple sclerosis.
Blatt, 60, wrote the letter via his Greek club, Olympiakos. He said he was diagnosed a few months ago with the autoimmune disease, which damages the central nervous system and causes disruptions in information sent from the body and brain.
“When I got over the initial shock and pain of understanding how this would and could change my life from today going forward, I decided I wasn’t giving in to anything. I was only going to adapt and adjust and find ways to continue my life as normally as possible. Τhe first thing I did was go back to my basketball coaching methodology of solving and overcoming difficulties.. it’s my three-step process. 1) what is the problem? 2) why did it happen? 3) How do we fix it?”
He said he feels it primarily through issues with weakness in his legs, fatigue, balance and strength. He works on body conditioning and muscle strength as well as accepting the diagnosis and avoiding falling into a depression.
Blatt wrote he will continue coaching. He led the Cavaliers to the NBA Finals in 2014-15, where they lost in six games to the Golden State Warriors. The following season he was fired midway into the year with a 30-11 record. His replacement, Tyronn Lue, led the team to its first NBA title in franchise history.
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