If there's finally going to be a European head coach in the NBA, the choice should come down to former Lakers assistant Ettore Messina of Italy and Boston-born Israeli David Blatt, according to the votes of 45 players currently competing in Europe.
Blatt and Messina, who has been mentioned as a candidate for jobs in Utah and L.A., combined for 33 first-place votes in a poll in which HoopsHype asked players – 14 of them with pro experience in the States – which Euro coaches would do best as No. 1 guys on an NBA bench.
Serbian legend Zeljko Obradovic, the winningest Euroleague coach ever with eight titles, came a distant third behind Blatt and Messina, with many players citing his brash style as something that wouldn't fly at all in the NBA.
"I don't see Obradovic there," a Euroleague center said. "Players would strike after two weeks. Too much yelling and b*tching. NBA is a players' league."
Check full results of the poll below.
|COACHES||FIRST-PLACE VOTES||SECOND-PLACE VOTES||THIRD-PLACE VOTES|
|1. Ettore Messina (CSKA Moscow)||16||17||5|
|2. David Blatt (Maccabi Tel Aviv)||17||14||6|
|3. Zeljko Obradovic (Fenerbahce)||6||4||10|
|4. Xavi Pascual (FC Barcelona)||3||2|
|5. Pablo Laso (Real Madrid)||1||1||4|
|6. Luca Banchi (Olimpia Milano)||2||3|
|7. Simone Pianigiani (Italy)||1||1|
|8. Dusan Ivkovic (Serbia)||2||1|
|9. Chris Fleming (Bamberg)||1||1|
|10. Ainars Bagatskis (Budivelnyk)||1|
|11. Svetislav Pesic (Bayern Munich)||2|
|11. Andrea Trinchieri (Unics Kazan)||2|
|13. Zan Tabak||1|
|13. Neven Spahija||1|
|13. Moncho Fernandez (Obradoiro)||1|
|16. Mathias Fischer (Telekom Baskets Bonn)||1|
|16. Igor Kokoskov (Cleveland)||1|
|16. Dusko Ivanovic (Bosnia-Herzegovina)||1|
|16. Jasmin Repesa (Cedevita Zagreb)||1|
|16. Evgeniy Pashutin (Lokomotiv Kuban)||1|
|16. Vincent Collet (Strasbourg)||1|
|16. Pini Gershon||1|
|16. Giorgios Bartzokas (Olympiakos)||1|
|16. Slaven Rimac (Cibona Zagreb)||1|