After being ousted by the Indiana Pacers in round one of the NBA playoffs earlier this month, the Atlanta Hawks decided they needed an upgrade over coach Larry Drew.
GM Danny Ferry and the Hawks are targeting coaches with NBA experience such as Stan Van Gundy and Nate McMillan, but they may go outside of the box and make NBA history in doing so.
Rumours are speculating in the basketball world that the Hawks are interested in Ettore Messina, the Italian-born coach of CSKA Moscow.
If the Hawks were to ink Messina to a deal, he would become the first European-born head coach in NBA history.
The ultimate sports job for any basketball coach is to work for an NBA franchise and Messina is no different. He could be defined in the record books as a trail blazer for international coaching and leave his stamp on the game of basketball if the decision is made.
Messina may be a bit of a longshot – with Van Gundy being the Hawks top choice to take the position – but the idea along really brings some excitement into a coaching decision that might be considered rather dull if Messina’s name wasn’t included.
Even though Messina is a longshot, the Hawks are still serious in considering him for the position. Ferry recently scouted CSKA Moscow in London at the Euroleague Final Four and Messina isn’t exactly green to how the NBA operates. He spent the 2011-12 season as a part of Mike Brown’s coaching staff with the Los Angeles Lakers. Messina left the NBA to take a $1 million-plus a year job with CSKA Moscow after Brown’s job was in jeopardy.
It could be an exciting move for basketball if Messina is hired, but it could be a risky one for Atlanta. Let’see what the Hawks decide. Will they go with an NBA coaching vet such as Van Gundy? Or will they ink themselves into the history books and hire Messina?
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