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Utah Jazz Interested in Ettore Messina as Head Coach

The Utah Jazz are reportedly interested in Italian legend Ettore Messina as their next head coach.

Apr 25 2014, 12:39am CDT | by

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Utah Jazz Interested in Ettore Messina as Head Coach
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Utah Jazz Interested in Ettore Messina as Head Coach

Utah Jazz Interested in Ettore Messina as Head Coach
Photo Credit: Getty Images

The Utah Jazz are reportedly interested in Italian legend Ettore Messina as their next head coach. 

Dave Noriega of KSL.com wrote more about the possibility in his April 23 article

"It seems cold and callous, but the search for a new head coach for the Utah Jazz is on. 

"I guess there's not much sense in firing a guy if you're going to dawdle in hiring his replacement. He's not going to be less fired tomorrow than he is today. That's my own personal platitude. 

"Coaching possibilities are emerging like kernels from an air popper; but a unique exciting morsel might make NBA history -- Ettore Messina

"Born in Italy, the 54-year-old has won four Euroleague championships as a head coach and is the presumptive favorite to be the first international head coach to break into the NBA coaching fraternity."

ESPN's Marc Stein confirms Utah is indeed eyeing Messina to replace former head coach Tyrone Corbin, citing league sources. Corbin's contract was not renewed by the team on April 21. 

Stein also says another possible candidate for the Jazz is San Antonio Spurs assistant Jim Boylen.

"NBA coaching sources say that the Jazz will take a legit look at Italian legend Ettore Messina now that they're on the hunt for a replacement for Ty Corbin, who was informed Monday after three-plus seasons as Jerry Sloan's successor that he would not be offered a new contract.

"The immediate focus, in terms of replacements, centered on San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Jim Boylen. And rightfully so, given Boylen's longstanding ties to Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey...

"Along with the seal of approval that comes when you're hired by Gregg Popovich to help fill the void created by the departures of Mike Buldenhozer and Brett Brown to head-coaching gigs in Atlanta and Philadelphia, respectively." 

However, Stein stresses the 49-year-old Boylen's coaching tenure with the Utah Utes from 2007-11 (where he had a 69-60 win-loss record) wouldn't generate as much buzz should he be given the opportunity to coach the Jazz. 

With this, Stein expectes Lindsey to also consider other candidates.

For his part, Travis Hansen, who suited up for the BYU Cougars from 2000-03 and played internationally from 2004-11, told Noriega that Messina would be a great fit for the Jazz. 

"It was the worst thing in the world to play against his team because he won a lot. He had the best players and the biggest budget. He was obviously a great coach.

"When I got the opportunity to play for him I jumped at the chance. He was a phenomenal coach to play for. 

"I'd love to see him in Utah. It would be awesome. It would be. It would be fun to see him and I think he'd do really well. 

"(He's) very easy-going, funny, witty, but very serious, very task-oriented. He demands a lot from his players. You get paid a lot and treated very well, so you better perform.

"If I was the Jazz, that's something I would really have to look at. It makes sense. I think he'd be a great fit." 

According to the Euroleague's official website, Messina won the 1998 and 2001 titles with Virtus Bologna while he won the 2006 and 2008 titles with CSKA. He was also a consultant of the Los Angeles Lakers during the 2011-12 NBA season. 

Aside from his Euroleague championships, he is also a two-time Euroleague Coach of the Year (2006, 2008), a four-time Italian League champion (1993, 1998, 2001 2003), a seven-time Italian Cup champion (1990, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005), a five-time Russian League champion (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2013) and a two-time Russian Cup champion (2006, 2007). 

For more of the hottest sports news, check out Sport Balla today. 

 

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Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.

 

 

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