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Report: Hawks talk to Messina, would be first European born NBA coach

May 17, 2013, 8:44 AM EDT

CSKA Moscow's head coach Messina reacts during their Euroleague Basketball Final Four third place game against Barcelona at the O2 Arena in London Reuters

Two seasons ago Ettore Messina was part of Mike Brown’s Los Angeles Lakers staff during the lockout season, but he left this season (good timing) to be the head coach of CSKA Moscow.

Now he could be coming back to the NBA — and sitting in the big chair.

The Hawks are talking to the Italian-born Messina about their head coaching job, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

Ettore Messina, the Italian-born coach of CSKA Moscow, is among the top candidates to replace coach Larry Drew. Ferry and Messina have had contact about the possibility, and Messina is intrigued with the chance to be a global trail blazer in the NBA, sources told Y! Sports.

Ferry recently scouted CSKA Moscow in London at the Euroleague Final Four.

First, we have to say that Larry Drew has not yet been fired in Atlanta. Yet the fact that GM Danny Ferry is reaching out to several coaches to gauge interest in the job tells you pretty much all you need to know about his future in the ATL Drew and his assistants are looking for other jobs.

The first person Ferry reached out to about the head coaching job was reportedly Stan Van Gundy. That didn’t go so well and isn’t going to happen.

Ferry also has interviewed Nate McMillan this week. It is expected he might talk to some of the top assistant coaches out there as well.

Messina has had incredible success in Europe — he has won five Russian and four Italian league titles in his time. His teams have won the EuroLeague (where the best teams from across Europe compete against each other) four times.

Messina has turned down NBA rebuilding projects before. He’s considered a hard personality at times and puts the team ahead of the players — fans love that but it doesn’t always go as well in the locker room.

But he has a fantastic basketball mind. He would bring a system and style of ball movement and player movement that could be fantastic in the NBA if the players buy in.

I doubt it happens, I bet Messina lands with another top European club. But it would be interesting.

  1. erckle31 - May 17, 2013 at 8:47 AM

    Sounds interesting. Kinda hope he gets the job, so we can see what he can do.

    • skinsfanwill - May 17, 2013 at 11:33 AM

      This guy worked for Mike Brown, I think we know what he can do.

  2. skinsfanwill - May 17, 2013 at 11:32 AM

    I’m sick of hearing about everyone “else” getting hired when possibly one of the best coaches out there is Brian Shaw. Somebody needs to hire THAT guy.

  3. progress2011 - May 17, 2013 at 5:18 PM

    Decisions like this one would not be a surprise in Atlanta. That town is known for making HORRIBLE decisions with their pro sports teams.

    1. Falcons had Brett Farve
    2. Braves had David Justice and others
    3. Hawks paid Joe Johnson more than LBJ makes

    That town is just a stop-over for players who go on to do great things. Or bums that get over-paid ! The city is hungry for an Elite Coach / Well known coach – Brian Shaw or Nate McMillan who can attract a a “SUPERSTAR” player ex: Dwight Howard, CP3 etc.

    There are soooooo many other things to do in that city, than spend good money on franchises that have no interest in winning

    1. College football is big
    2. The nite life & clubs are KRAZY
    3. Plays, concerts and shows galore
    3. “Magic City” etc. etc. etc. …….

    If the Hawks hire this BUM…..the ownership should expect the arena to remain EMPTY !!!

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