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Friday, May 17th, 2013 at 12:00 pm  |  16 responses

Atlanta Hawks May Hire the NBA’s First European Coach


The Atlanta Hawks’ search for a new coach has taken them all the way to Europe. According to Yahoo! Sports, the Hawks are considering Ettore Messina as their new bench boss, which would make him the NBA’s first European-born head coach: “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 said. Ferry recently scouted CSKA Moscow in London at the Euroleague Final Four. Atlanta’s top target, Stan Van Gundy, is a long shot to accept the job, league sources said. Messina, 53, is a four-time Euroleague championship coach and two-time Euroleague coach of the year. Across two decades of head coaching jobs in Italy and Russia, Messina has won five Russian League championships and four Italian League titles. Messina spent the 2011-’12 season as a part of Mike Brown’s coaching staff with the Los Angeles Lakers. With uncertainty over Brown’s future, Messina left the NBA to take a $1 million-plus a year job with CSKA Moscow. Messina brought Lakers assistant Quin Snyder to CSKA with him as an assistant coach. Ferry and Snyder have a long, close relationship, dating back to their days as Duke University teammates. Snyder is a candidate for the Phoenix Suns and Charlotte Bobcats coaching jobs.”

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  • RedRum

    Messina and Obradovic are better than 90% of the NBA coaches.

  • melvo

    Sarcasm? Otherwise, what makes them better than most NBA coaches? The game is different there than it is here.

  • RedRum

    no scarcasm. Notice I only mentioned two names. What makes them better is that they are smarter than most NBA coaches. They also have NBA-ready offenses, Messina is using a motion-like offense, similar with what Popovic is running while Obradovic has a system similar with the Triangle, but with more emphasis on the pick n roll. Ferry knows Messina from his SA years, since Popovich was sending scouts to follow Messina’s teams and pick up things for his offense. Popovic also has admitted picking up things from obradovic. When SA played Panathinaikos in 2007, Popovic said in the press conference that he cannot wait to go to the video to see the things Obradovic was running. Popovich is half serbian half croat and he has grown up watching bball from the Yugoslavia greats, like Nicolic and Ivkovic. Both Messina and Obradovic would be amazing coaches in the NBA

  • spit hot fiyah

    this is what i have been waiting for, very interesting

  • IceColdATLien

    Gotta say that 13 combined championships in various leagues is impressive. Yes, the game is different in Europe, but championships in 3 different leagues points to his ability to adjust regardless of style of play.

  • ChosenOne

    Obradovic is reportedly getting the Pistons job. Interesting.

  • RedRum

    Really??? They would love him. Obradovic is the most succesful coach in the history of European basketball he has won the Euroleague a record 8 times with 3 different teams, 5 of them as an underdog. Euroleague Final 4 is like the Superbowl for basketball in Europe. He is probably the best coach in European history, and I would say at the moment only Popovich and (Phil of course) might be better than him. The way he reads the game and makes the adjustments on the fly is uncanny, you think he pulls plays and lineups out of the hat.

  • gfgf

    Bogdan Tanjevic?

  • roscoe

    x and o’s are quite different from leadership RedRum.

    coaching is a combo of art & science…

    time will tell if a coach like messina meshs…

    id bet no.

  • roscoe

    you’ve not been waiting for this. give me a _____ blank.

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni D dot Sanchez

    doesnt matter bout the coach. hawks aint winning with their squad

  • RedRum

    So you think that Obradovic, a coach who has won a record 8 Euroleague titles with 3 different teams in the best after the NBA league lacks leadership????

  • Darksaber

    Ettore couldn’t even hang on the the Lakers assistant coach spot, though that may be cause of Mike Brown’s firing.
    He lost the Euroleague semifinal against eventual champs, Olimpiacos, last week in devastating manner. (Up to then, he’d been 8:0 in EL semis) That though, in my opinion, also has to do with him relying heavily on Mr. Most Overrated PG of Europe himself, Teodosic. Milos had a horrible game against Spanoulis et al.
    In terms of continental accomplishments, his resumé is up their with the best all-timers in Europe. Wish him all the best if he gets the job, NBA Star Culture is highly different to the reverence he had in the EU.

  • roscoe

    you have a point. but it is not the point i am arguing with.

    cultural differences are very difficult to overcome for any leader in any organization…

    to be the nba environment and specifically the players (high-maintenance stars) are going to take the lead of someone they cannot completely relate to is naive in my humble opinion.

    but i could be wrong… what do i know?

    coaching in different cultures is not child’s play though.

  • roscoe

    its hype… coaching in the nba is a different game…

    lay off the rum-kool-aid

  • Jeff

    please do not hire this guy the players will have an extremely hard time adjusting to his coaching style.

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