Mitch Kupchak Rumors
Messina, 58, was a highly successful International coach (four European championships) in Italy, Spain and Russia before joining Popovich’s staff in 2016. He has a previous connection to new Hornets general manager Mitch Kupchak, from when Messina served as a consultant to Kupchak’s previous team, the Los Angeles Lakers, in 2012.
Adrian Wojnarowski: The Charlotte Hornets have received permission to interview San Antonio Spurs assistant Ettore Messina for head coach opening, league sources tell ESPN. GM Mitch Kupchak and Messina worked together with Lakers, when Messina was part of Mike Brown’s coaching staff.
Chris Mannix: The Hornets cleaned house today, per sources. In addition to firing Steve Clifford, Charlotte let go of most of its training staff, analytics department, etc. Mitch Kupchak is doing a complete reset.
The Charlotte Hornets dismissed coach Steve Clifford on Friday morning, ending a run that included two trips to the playoffs, the team announced Friday. After hiring Mitch Kupchak as President and General Manager recently, owner Michael Jordan has afforded him the autonomy to reshape the franchise’s basketball operations and coaching staff as he sees fit.
Kupchak offered no hints over the team’s plans with Walker during an introductory press conference on Tuesday. “My understanding is he is great in the locker room and great in the community,’ Kupchak said. “I don’t know why you wouldn’t want to have a player like that going forward.”