Ettore Messina Rumors
The Spurs gave the Lakers permission to interview Messina after they fired Byron Scott following the end of the regular season. The Lakers hired Walton, who played nine seasons for them, last week. “There is nothing more I can tell you other than that I am very, very happy (with the Spurs),” Messina said Monday.
They plan to speak with at least four more candidates as well: Nate McMillan (former Seattle SuperSonics and Portland Trailblazers coach); now an associate head coach with the Indiana Pacers), Mark Jackson (former Golden State Warriors coach), Ettore Messina (renowned European coach, former Los Angeles Lakers assistant who is currently an assistant with the San Antonio Spurs), and Elston Turner (longtime assistant coach who spent four seasons with Kings president of basketball operations Vlade Divac in Sacramento and is currently on Dave Joerger’s staff in Memphis).
Is Messina interested? Clarity is tough to come by, but it’s safe to say the Lakers’ position is a much more intriguing opportunity. He is known to be on their short list. Folks close to Messina are skeptical that he has interest in the Kings’ position.
Yet sources stressed to ESPN.com that San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Ettore Messina is also getting strong consideration. Messina had a decorated coaching career in Europe before serving as a Lakers consultant in 2011-12. Not only is he a known entity to Lakers officials, but he also has spent the past two seasons alongside Hall of Fame-bound San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. The Lakers, sources say, are seeking a coach who can change their on-court fortunes, connect with their many young players and help their free-agent recruiting efforts. Team officials, however, have made it clear that they are not prepared to grant full personnel control to whomever they hire. That policy applied in Los Angeles even when Phil Jackson was on the bench.