By John Askounis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
After two years as AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan’s head coach, Simone Pianigiani agreed with the Italian club to mutually part ways, the team announced. During his tenure, he led the EuroLeague side to one LBA Serie A Championship and two Italian Supercups. Olimpia thanked him for his effort and professionalism, wished him all the best for the future.
Ettore Messina agreed to not only cover the head coaching vacancy but to run basketball operations as well. Eurohoops reported on the talks between the two sides and confirmed that the 59-year-old Italian, previously leading member of the San Antonio Spurs’ coaching staff, signed a three-year contract, which includes an extension option for two more seasons.
It has to be noted that for the first time in the EuroLeague history a coach will also be the head of the management of the club in basketball operations, even if in many cases coaches was practically acting as GMs in the past. The official title of Messina is “president of basketball operations”.
Messina is leaving the Texans after five years as Gregg Popovich’s assistant coach. He previously was the head coach of Italy’s National Team, CSKA Moscow, Virtus Bologna, Real Madrid, and Benetton Treviso.