By Eurohoops team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Ettore Messina talked about why he believes NBA owners may be hesitant to sign non-Americans as head coaches. Messina, a four-time EuroLeague champion, spent 2014-2019 as an assistant coach to Gregg Popovich on the San Antonio Spurs.
“Honestly, I don’t think there’s an issue. I think that there’s just a logical resistance from the owner to put in charge of your organization somebody who’s a foreigner,” Messina said when asked by Blic if there’s an issue with European coaches in the NBA. “Somebody who maybe doesn’t speak perfect English, who doesn’t probably have roots in this country.”
After his stint with the Spurs, Messina returned to EuroLeague in 2019 to take over Olimpia Milano. In his first full season with the club he led them to their first Final Four since 1992 and this season, his team won the Italian Championship.
“Our goal every year is to compete for the Italian League,” Messina said. “In the last three years, we were able to sign high-level players in the last three years that showed the way to the rest of the team and [showed] how to make the Final Four. Our goal is to go back to the Final Four. But before that, you have to make the playoffs. This is a league of 18 teams and any can make the playoffs.”