Cavs meeting with Spurs assistant Ettore Messina on Wednesday
Shortly after the 2018-19 regular season came to a close, the Cavs and Larry Drew decided to part ways, leaving the team in search of a new head coach. General manager Koby Altman has already met with several candidates for the job in recent days, and according to a report from Chris Fedor of cleveland.com, he’ll interview San Antonio Spurs assistant Ettore Messina on Wednesday.
— Chris Fedor (@ChrisFedor) May 8, 2019
Messina, now 59 years of age, has an extensive coaching resume. In fact, he’s been calling plays since 1989. Most of his time as a coach has been spent in Europe, including two separate stints in the Italian League (1989–1993 and 1997–2002).
In 2005, Messina was named head coach of CSKA Moscow. In his first season, he went on to lead the team to the EuroLeague title. And under his direction, CSKA won another Euroleague title in 2008.
Messina made his NBA debut in 2011, agreeing to join the Los Angeles Lakers as a consultant to Mike Brown, who was serving as the team’s head coach at that time.
The Spurs hired Messina as an assistant coach in 2014. He quickly became a well-respected figure within the organization.
In March of 2016, Messina temporarily took the reigns from Gregg Popovich. The Spurs were facing the Golden State Warriors in the playoffs and Popovich was unable to travel with the team due to a family emergency. Messina would serve as head coach of the Spurs again on April 19, 2018, when Popovich’s wife passed away.
Whether or not the Cavs will hire Messina as their next head coach remains to be seen, but it certainly sounds like there is a high level of interest. Other candidates on Cleveland’s list include Dallas assistant Jamahl Mosley, Miami assistant Juwan Howard, former Memphis coach J.B. Bickerstaff and Utah assistant Alex Jensen.