Ettore Messina Rumors
FIBA absorbed a hearty and widespread backlash — with yours truly chief among the dismayed — when it adopted a soccer-style qualifying format for the next World Cup and beyond. The criticism largely stems from the fact that the N.B.A. was never going to consent to building soccer-style “international breaks” into its schedule, meaning that the best players in the world would take no part in determining the field for basketball’s answer to the soccer frenzy underway in Russia. As Ettore Messina, the San Antonio assistant and former Italian national team coach, so expertly summarized it in November, this format essentially forces even the most successful basketball federations out there to assemble a separate roster for qualifying that, in Messina’s words, will ultimately be told: “Thank you. Now the real players are coming in to go to China.”
With the Finals in the rear-view mirror and the NBA off-season officially underway, the Toronto Raptors are entering the final stages of their month-long search for a new head coach. The belief, according to sources, is that the team has narrowed it down to two leading candidates – Toronto assistant Nick Nurse and San Antonio Spurs assistant Ettore Messina – with a decision expected to come this week or next.
Nurse, one of the first to be interviewed by Raptors president Masai Ujiri and general manager Bobby Webster, was seen as an early frontrunner and has been an internal favourite for the job throughout. Messina made a strong impression on the Raptors brass when he met with them late last month and was in Toronto for a second interview on Thursday, league sources confirm to TSN.
Josh Lewenberg: Spurs assistant Ettore Messina was in Toronto for a 2nd interview last week. Belief is the Raptors have narrowed their head coaching search to 2 leading candidates – Nick Nurse and Messina – with a decision expected to come this week or next.
It’s been nearly four weeks since the Toronto Raptors made the controversial decision to fire their head coach, Dwane Casey, and while the search for his replacement is still ongoing the team appears to be leaning towards a familiar face. Toronto assistant Nick Nurse remains the favourite to land the Raptors’ vacant head coaching job, league sources tell TSN, though several external candidates are also being considered, including San Antonio Spurs assistants Ettore Messina and Ime Udoka, as well as Sarunas Jasikevicius, a rising star in the EuroLeague.
Adrian Wojnarowski: San Antonio Spurs assistant coaches Ettore Messina and Ime Udoka interviewed with the Toronto Raptors for the franchise’s head coaching job on Thursday and Friday, respectively, league sources told ESPN.