NBA Rumors: Spurs' Ettore Messina to Interview for Hornets' HC Opening

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistApril 15, 2018

San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Ettore Messina signals to his players during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the New Orleans Pelicans, Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018, in San Antonio. New Orleans won 121-116. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Eric Gay/Associated Press

San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Ettore Messina is expected to interview for the Charlotte Hornets' head coaching vacancy.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Sunday that the Spurs granted permission for the Hornets to interview Messina, who is familiar with Hornets general manager Mitch Kupchak due to their time together with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Charlotte fired head coach Steve Clifford last week after five seasons with the team.

The 58-year-old Messina is a native of Italy who has been part of Gregg Popovich's staff with the Spurs since 2014.

Messina previously served as the head coach for several European professional teams, including CSKA Moscow and Real Madrid.

During the 2011-12 season, Messina was a consultant under head coach Mike Brown with the Lakers.

In 17 seasons as a head coach in Europe, Messina went 279-98 and won four EuroLeague championships. Messina also had multiple stints as the head coach of the Italian national team, leading it to a silver medal in EuroBasket 1997.

Steve Kerr, Kiki Vandeweghe and Jay Triano are the only three head coaches in NBA history who were born outside the United States.

If Messina is hired by the Hornets, he will become only the second NBA head coach to be born outside the United States without American citizenship or a U.S. passport at the time along with Triano, who was born in Canada.

Charlotte is also rumored to have interest in former Memphis Grizzlies head coach David Fizdale.

Related

    Coby Goes Nuclear to Save Bulls 🤯

    White's 7 threes in the 4th qtr only masks the Bulls problems

    NBA logo
    NBA

    Coby Goes Nuclear to Save Bulls 🤯

    Will Gottlieb
    via Bleacher Report

    Eric Gordon to Miss 6 Weeks

    Mike D'Antoni confirms Rockets guard will have knee surgery

    NBA logo
    NBA

    Eric Gordon to Miss 6 Weeks

    Kyle Newport
    via Bleacher Report

    Report: PG Plans to Play Thursday

    Paul George (shoulders) expected to make his Clippers debut on Thursday vs. Pelicans (Yahoo)

    NBA logo
    NBA

    Report: PG Plans to Play Thursday

    Adam Wells
    via Bleacher Report

    Report: All of Knicks Brass 'On Notice'

    Fizdale isn't the only one on the hot seat

    NBA logo
    NBA

    Report: All of Knicks Brass 'On Notice'

    Tim Daniels
    via Bleacher Report