The Kings have been granted permission by the Spurs to interview assistant coaches Ettore Messina and James Borrego for their vacant head coaching position, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.com (Twitter links). The specific dates and times for the interviews have not been set due to San Antonio’s ongoing playoff series against the Thunder, Stein adds.
Messina had declined to comment Monday on a report that the Kings planned to speak with him about their head coaching position, other than to make it clear that he’s content in San Antonio. Sacramento certainly has no shortage of other candidates for its vacancy, but Kings GM Vlade Divac is said to be especially fond of Messina. “There is nothing more I can tell you other than that I am very, very happy [with the Spurs],” Messina had said.
This is the first mention of Borrego being part of the Kings’ ever-expanding list of candidates. Borrego went 10-20 as the Magic’s interim coach in 2014/15 and was replaced by Scott Skiles this past offseason. Borrego had reportedly garnered interest from the Magic, Pelicans and Thunder to join their respective coaching staffs, but he chose to head to San Antonio and join coach Gregg Popovich instead.
Sam Mitchell, Vinny Del Negro and Mike Woodson have already interviewed, and Kevin McHale has spoken extensively with the team, earlier reports indicated, and it would appear as though David Blatt‘s interview took place Monday. The team reportedly has plans to interview Henry Bibby, Patrick Ewing, Mark Jackson, Nate McMillan, Jeff Hornacek and Corliss Williamson. Sacramento has reportedly received permission from the Grizzlies to interview assistant Elston Turner, but USA Today’s Sam Amick reported Monday that he’s a candidate to serve as lead assistant for the Kings, casting doubt on the idea that he’s in the running for the head coaching job.
Jay Larranaga, Brian Shaw, Ime Udoka, Jeff Van Gundy and Monty Williams are the other reported candidates who haven’t already taken jobs elsewhere.