Bucks To Interview Messina, Clifford, Williams

The Bucks’ head coaching search is underway, as the team is scheduled to meet with Spurs assistant Ettore Messina, former Hornets head coach Steve Clifford, and former Pelicans head coach Monty Williams within the next several days, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

Clifford and Williams were identified as part of Milwaukee’s initial group of candidates on Thursday, as was David Blatt, who also intends to meet with the Bucks about their head coaching vacancy, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post (Twitter link).

It’s not clear if and when the Bucks will interview Mike Budenholzer, the other name mentioned on Thursday, but Wojnarowski suggests that the club may meet with as many as 10 candidates. That would put them about in line with the Knicks and Suns, the two teams so far who have filled their head coaching openings after conducting full-fledged searches. New York reportedly interviewed 11 candidates, while Phoenix met with 10.

Messina and Clifford have both received consideration for other head coaching jobs this offseason. Messina met with the Hornets, whose search is ongoing, while Clifford talked to the Suns before they hired Igor Kokoskov.

This will be the first reported interview this spring for Williams, who was identified as a possible frontrunner for the Milwaukee job way back in January. Having served as the Spurs’ vice president of basketball operations since 2016, Williams last coached as an assistant for the Thunder in 2015/16. He took a leave of absence from that position when his wife Ingrid was killed in a car crash, and hasn’t returned to coaching since.

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3 thoughts on “Bucks To Interview Messina, Clifford, Williams

  1. TJECK109

    Is there any chance at all that Pop retires after this year? With his loss and Parker and Ginobli getting up there you couldn’t blame him if he did

  2. Greg

    I could see Pop retiring at the end of next year if Manu, Tony and Kawhi are all gone.

    It seems as though Pop promises his guys that he’ll stay as long as they do. He’s done it with his big three, and from what I understand, he committed that to LMA last offseason after they worked through their differences.

    I can’t see Tony and Manu being Spurs beyond next season, and both may potentially be gone this offseason. I would imagine that if Pop and Kawhi mend fences, he may make the same promise, but I’m not sold on Kawhi being back long term. That leaves only LMA in that scenario, but if he has another season like this year in 18-19, and Pop does walk away, he’ll be an attractive trade piece should he want to move on.

    There are also a whole bunch of great internal candidates (Messina, Borrego, Hammond, Williams) that they’ll have to choose from, and possibly someone like Bud if he doesn’t find a job this year.

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