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Spurs GM R.C. Buford denies reports of Ettore Messina hire

By James Herbert | NBA writer

Ettore Messina will reportedly be a Spurs assistant coach next season.
Ettore Messina will reportedly be a Spurs assistant coach next season. (USATSI)

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UPDATE: Spurs general manager R.C. Buford denied that Ettore Messina was San Antonio-bound, via Mike Monroe of the San Antonio Express-News:

“Is someone leaving our staff that I don't know about?” Buford said when asked about the Messina report. “We have not had one conversation with anyone about a coaching position for next season.”

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CSKA Moscow head coach Ettore Messina will join Gregg Popovich's staff with the San Antonio Spurs after this season ends, as first reported by Corriere di Bologna's Daniele Labanti and confirmed by Sportando.

Messina served as an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Lakers under Mike Brown in 2011-2012. The Atlanta Hawks reportedly considered him for their head-coaching vacancy last year before settling on Mike Budenholzer, who was Popovich's lead assistant at the time. The Spurs tried to hire Messina last year, according to ESPN's Marc Stein, who also reported that there was talk that new Utah Jazz head coach Quin Snyder would try to add Messina to his staff.

Having coached Real Madrid, Benetton Treviso, Virtus Bologna and Italy's national team, Messina has quite a resume. He's long been talked about as a potentially historic hire as an NBA head coach, and that could still happen in the future. He has a great reputation for his offensive mind -- in that respect, this will be a case of the rich getting richer in San Antonio.

 
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