Spurs Assistant Ettore Messina Joins Olimpia Milano

11:09am: Olimpia Milano has made it official, announcing today in a press release that Messina has signed a three-year contract to serve as the club’s president of basketball operations and head coach.

8:01am: Spurs assistant coach Ettore Messina has agreed to a deal with Italian club Olimpia Milano, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (via Twitter). According to Charania, Messina will run the team’s basketball operations and will become its new head coach.

Emiliano Carchia of Sportando reported on Monday that Messina had interviewed for that dual role with Olimpia Milano, the only Italian club in the EuroLeague, and was expected to make a decision on his future this week. Prior to Charania’s report, Carchia had indicated that Messina was leaning toward accepting Milano’s offer.

While the details of Messina’s new agreement aren’t known, Carchia classifies it is a multiyear deal and suggests that Olimpia Milano made the veteran coach a “rich” offer to lure him away from San Antonio. Messina will replace Milano head coach Simone Pianigiani on the sidelines, and is expected to name a new general manager soon, per Carchia.

A longtime head coach overseas for CKSA Moscow, Real Madrid, and other clubs, Messina joined the Spurs in 2014 as Gregg Popovich‘s lead assistant. He has received interest from multiple NBA teams as a head coaching candidate since then, interviewing with the Hornets, Bucks, and Raptors in 2018, and the Cavaliers in 2019. He also coached Italy’s national team from 2015-17.

With Messina’s imminent departure, the Spurs will have some holes to fill on Popovich’s coaching staff for the 2019/20 season. After James Borrego left for the Hornets last spring, Messina and Ime Udoka are departing this year — Udoka recently accepted a job as the Sixers’ lead assistant.

Assistants Will Hardy and Becky Hammon are in position to take on more prominent roles in San Antonio.

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8 thoughts on “Spurs Assistant Ettore Messina Joins Olimpia Milano

  1. hoosierhysteria

    The rats are jumping off the sinking spurs ship. They are going backwards. Aldridge never bought pop’s program…derozen contract is crazy. Pop will quit….his ego can’t take mediocrity. They are mediocre because pop blew the KL situation….they would be contenders in the west if they kept KL.

    • kenleyfornia2

      Could have had a couple of the Lakers young players and cap room instead of DeRozens massive contract but Pop played himself over the obsession with the Lakers. Same as New Orleans for not taking Magics crazy offer

  2. x%sure

    Murray & White could be the next Bledsoe & Brogdon (2-PG backcourt). Allstar forwards. The Spurs will win most games… except locally, they expect titles, and familiar faces are gone, so they won’t “feel” fine. Aww.

  3. These comments are pretty funny. A coach w 22 straight playoff appearances and the highest winning % in the sport’s history is guiding a sinking ship? Given everything that happened with Leonard last year might have been his greatest performance. If you follow the NBA you’d know these guys are part of a growing list of Pop assistants moving on to bigger roles including Brett Brown and coach Bud.

    Finally Pop blew the Kawhi situation? The guy walked out on his teammates because his uncle gave him bad advice and that will cost him about $50 million. He’s a great player and it’s unfortunate, but no, really not Pop’s fault.

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