Former Chicago Bulls forward Viktor Khryapa is urging basketball officials to select a Russian coach for the national team after American Israeli David Blatt quit earlier Tuesday.
Blatt, 53, announced "now is the right time" to step aside after guiding the team to bronze at the London Olympics, his crowning achievement after seven years at the helm.
Now Khryapa wants the Russian Basketball Federation to pick a home-grown replacement.
"I hope the next coach will be Russian," said Khryapa, also an ex-Portland Trail Blazer. "Thanks to David for his work. For seven years together. Now is a great time for a Russian coach to come into the team and maintain our good level of play."
The federation has promised to find a new coach by the end of the year, and a possibility has already emerged in Yevgeny Pashutin, the coach of the under-20 team and head coach at Lokomotiv Kuban.
Khryapa, 30, now plies his trade for CSKA Moscow.