When the San Antonio Spurs 2018-19 season was over, so was Ettore Messina’s time in San Antonio. After five seasons as the Spurs assistant coach, Messina accepted a job to become the new head coach for Italian team Olimpia Milano but he hasn’t forgotten Gregg Popovich. In an interview with NBA Argentina, Messina recalled the process he went through which ultimately ended with him departing the Spurs. However, he went on to say Popovich remains his friend and an important person in his life now that their time together in San Antonio is over.
“Coach Pop was always informed of everything because he was not only a boss for me but he is a very important person of my life and he is really a friend. He is someone I respect very much,” Messina said. Messina signed a three-year contract as not only the new head coach of Milano but as the team’s president of basketball operations. The decision to leave the Spurs was due in large part to Messina wanting to lead his own team and returning to his head coaching roots he admits.
Earlier this evening, Atlanta Hawks Head Coach Lloyd Pierce hosted his second annual Coaches Clinic at the team’s official practice facility, the Emory Sports Medicine Complex. This invite-only professional development clinic brought together more than 125 coaches from various high schools and colleges throughout the state of Georgia and the southeast region. “We are genuinely appreciative to host members of the Atlanta basketball community,” said Hawks Head Coach Lloyd Pierce. “This clinic gave our staff an opportunity to build relationships with various coaches throughout the region as well as provide both educational and professional development techniques as they work with and develop the character of their players.”
Rick Pitino reached an agreement with Louisville and both sides dropped their lawsuits, the school announced on Wednesday. The former head coach of Panathinaikos OPAP will receive no money, but his personnel file will now reflect that his employment ended in 2017 as a result of a resignation. The 67-year-old American initially sued Louisville for breach of contract and was seeking more than $35 million. ULAA counter-suited pursuing damages allegedly caused by its former head coach.
“Today, I move on to a new chapter in my life,” mentioned Pitino in a statement released by his lawyer, “I am very proud of the many accomplishments my teams achieved at Louisville. I’m so thankful and honored to coach such dedicated athletes. I’m also disappointed in how it ended. But as head coach I am held responsible for the actions of all team members.”
Pacers coach Nate McMillan echoed Bitadze’s disappointment in missing Summer League, adding the rookie would’ve played if he was able to. “We tried to do everything we could to try to speed up that visa,” McMillan said. “As soon as we drafted him, we talked about it that night. To try to get it, put a rush on it and get it so he could get back and play. I would’ve loved to see him play in Vegas. It didn’t work out, but it was good to see him in some runs in the month of August and September.”
McMillan said he spent time with Oladipo in Miami and Las Vegas during the offseason, in addition to observing the guard at the team facility last week. The longtime coach said Oladipo is in good spirits but he has a hurdle in front of him — contact. “He’s not playing live but he’s moving. He’s in a good position mentally,” McMillan said. “He feels that everything is going well. I like what I see with him. … He’s doing great. He’s not doing any live contact, still in that rehab stage of working with the trainers. I just know (opening night on Oct. 23) he probably won’t be there. The time frame, we have no idea of when he will return.”