The Hornets plan to interview Spurs assistant Ettore Messina for their head coaching vacancy, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. San Antonio has granted permission for Messina to interview with Charlotte.
Messina, who has been with the Spurs for the past four seasons, has experience working with new Hornets GM Mitch Kupchak when they were both with the Lakers. Messina served as a consultant for coach Mike Brown during the 2011/12 season.
Although there has been speculation about other candidates, Messina is the first name to emerge in an interview capacity since the Hornets fired Steve Clifford on Friday. A long-time international coach, Messina has been in the running for several NBA head coaching opportunities in recent years.
Messina was named best coach in the Italian League three times and is a two-time winner of EuroLeague Coach of the Year. He was named to the Italian Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008.