Messina: I made my decision with Popovich

2019-09-20T11:51:29+00:00 2019-09-20T11:56:39+00:00.

Giannis Askounis

20/Sep/19 11:51

Ettore Messina opened up on leaving the San Antonio Spurs to take over AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan.

By John Askounis/

AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan’s new head coach and president of basketball operations, Ettore Messina talked to NBA Argentina about his decision to depart from the San Antonio Spurs and take the helm of the Italian club. The four-time EuroLeague champion also answered questions on the Argentinian national team, Luis Scola and Facundo Campazzo.

“I received an offer from Mr. Giorgio Armani and let’s say we are talking about a person of the highest international level for the accomplishments in his field” mentioned the 59-year-old head coach, “He gave me the opportunity to lead the club as president and coach. I can choose the people I want to work with, either players either managers or doctors for an important club as Olimpia Milano.”

“I liked the idea of having my own team, my own coaching staff and being a head coach once again” he furthered, “I wasn’t looking for pressure, but for responsibilities, to try to assume those responsibilities with my group and achieve success.”

“It wasn’t easy to leave a franchise that gave me everything. It wasn’t simple to explain to the rest of the staff at San Antonio” Messina added, “Coach Pop was always informed of everything because he was not only a boss for me but a very important person of my life and he is really a friend. He is someone I respect very much. He was always aware of everything during the day-to-day negotiations and I can say that we made the decision together.”

“Luis Scola is a wonderful player, he has always been a great player” he replied to a question on Argentina’s silver medal run in the 2019 FIBA World Cup and Scola’s contribution, “It was impressive to see him compete at 39 with the enthusiasm of a young man. The skill and experience he has developed during his career is amazing.”

“Facundo Campazzo is another leader of Argentina with the mentality to play and a particular technique on the court” he went on commenting on Real Madrid’s guard, “He was absolutely fantastic for Argentina and has been fantastic for Real Madrid.”