Spurs' Ettore Messina becomes NBA's first European-born head coach

Thursday November 27th, 2014

Head coach Gregg Popovich missed the Spurs' 106-100 win on Wednesday night against the Pacers with what the team is calling a "medical issue." Assistant Ettore Messina coached the team, becoming the first European-born person to coach an NBA team.

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Messina joined Popovich's staff as an assistant in July. He coached Russian club CSKA Moscow from 2005 to 2009 and again from 2012 to 2014. Between those stints, he coached Real Madrid for two seasons and served as a consultant to the Lakers during the 2011-12 season. Between 1989 and 2005, Messina coached Italian clubs Virtus Bologna and Benetton Treviso, as well as the Italian national team.

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Messina has won four Euroleague championships and was twice named the Euroleague Coach of the Year. 

Before joining the Spurs, Messina was reported to be a finalist for the head coaching position with the Nets

- Dan Gartland

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