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Assistant coach candidate profiles: Ettore Messina

Below is the first post in a series looking at the potential Lakers assistant coaches. We look first at Ettore Messina, whom The Times' Broderick Turner and Hoopsworld's Eric Pincus reported might be added by Mike Brown as an assistant coach. Turner noted that the position might be part-time.

Background: Messina's recent stint has entailed coaching Real Madrid the last two seasons after coaching CSKA Moscow from 2006 to 2009 and leading them to two Euroleague titles (2006, 2008). Messina also won the 1998 and 2001 Euroleague with Virtus Bologna of Italy, with the 2001 team featuring San Antonio Spurs guard Manu Ginobili. Messina, who coached the Italian national team from 1993-97, has picked up numerous awards, including European Coach of the Year (1998), Italian Coach of the Year (1990, 1993, 1998, 2001, 2005) and the Euroleague Coach of the Year (2006, 2008). Numerous reports indicate Messina resigned from his position at Real Madrid because he would like to be a head coach in the NBA but believes he needs experience as an assistant coach first.

Connection to Brown: The Cavaliers recruited Messina, according to New York Post's Peter Vecsey, to "partake in all team functions," including giving Brown pointers on implementing his offense.  Pincus noted that Brown often visited Messina for two- to three-week intervals. Messina also helped Brown set up his offense with Cleveland.

Style: Pincus describes Messina as "tough" with a "strong personality," noting that he often calls his team's plays and has developed post players well. The Times' Randy Harvey noted in a story in 1994 that when Messina was hired as the coach of the Italian national team that he cut several of the team's stars and replaced them with players with less talent but fit better into what Harvey called Messina's "disciplined system." And Sports Illustrated's Ian Thomsen describes Messina's efforts to build Real Madrid into a championship team: "He was trying to create an environment of humility that would eventually position them to succeed, but he was convinced the habits couldn't form at a club that wasn't invested in the process."

-- Mark Medina

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very nice Mark

I tought MB hire as a coach was hard to swallow, now we get to disect his assistant coaches, altough, based on what is written, he seems like a pretty decent assistant coach!

As much as I hate Real Madrid in both soccer and baskbetball(because I'm a FC Barcelona fan), I think his credentials hold up. Its tought being a COY in Euroleague, some would say otherwise, but thats my opinion...

Also didnt FC Barcelona kik our butts during the Practice season in Spain?? lol I know it has nothing to do with anything, but tought I should mention it!


"He was trying to create an environment of humility that would eventually position them to succeed, but he was convinced the habits couldn't form at a club that wasn't invested in the process."

do you think this will work for Steve Blake this upcoming season? because PJ really emberassed him during the Mavs series, hope that holds true!


@JON K ... Congrats on another Friedman. I remember the hollow feeling I had in my stomach when the media started talking about Mike Dunleavy as a possible candidate as the Lakers next head coach. I had just a tingle of the same sensation when they brought up Mike Brown’s name but I think that was similar to second hand smoke when you’re locked in a car with a couple potheads. Just the presence of LeBron drives me crazy. I have to admit he was money last night though.
..................................
@LEO GOOSE ... Thanks for your reply. It was nice being able to talk to God on the blog. The only problem is that you didn’t answer our prayers. LOL. Chicago was the perfect example of why the cliché Defense Wins only addresses half of what you need to win. Teamwork wins championships. Hopefully, Brown will hire an offensive guru as one of his assistant coaches. It will be interesting seeing how the team dynamic works next year. We will not win without great chemistry.
..................................
TOM

Laker Tom - Cool find on how Typepad stores all the comments. I'm glad this idea has worked out. Thanks for backing me

Tech N9ne - How did Phil embarrass Steve during the Mavs finals?

I hope they succeed in hiring Messina. Not only he's got sterling credentials and track record he also happens to be Italian. Imagine whenever coach Brown can't get through to Kobe, Messina can chime in and curse... eh I mean counsel Kobe in Italian, LOL.

With the hiring of coach Brown perhaps Trey Johnson will be given more opportunity to contribute? I think lot of Lakers fans would like to see what Trey can do...

Lakers will definitely need a REAL PG now that they are not going to run the triangle and he's got to be MUCH better than either Fish or Blake. My prediction is that one of those two will have to go.

re: Chicago was the perfect example of why the cliché Defense Wins only addresses half of what you need to win.

What part of 18-3 run don't you understand?


Is it the: The Bulls couldn't stop the heat. i.e. Their defense broke down.

or was it: The Miami Heat's defense put a choke hold on Rose & the bulls.

http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/05/27/2237646/miami-heats-dwyane-wade-gets-defensive.html

Dwyane Wade’s commitment to defense in Games 3 and 4 of the Eastern Conference finals subtracted from his offense. The Heat’s star guard said Thursday morning that he’s fine with reduced offensive production if it results in wins.

o a man, the Heat credited its turnaround in the Eastern Conference finals to a strong commitment to defense. Much of that credit goes to Wade, who helped limit Bulls guard and MVP Derrick Rose in Games 2, 3 and 4. Wade’s block against Rose in the final minute of overtime during Game 4 sealed the Heat’s win and its 3-1 series advantage.

“It’s defense first, and when I don’t do things on the defensive end, coach will say something to me first about that end,” Wade said. “He never really says anything to me about the offensive end. It’s mostly on the defensive end, so it’s a different challenge, and I enjoy it.”


http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/05/24/2231351/miami-heats-defense-suffocates.html

Miami is playing its best defense of the season, according to LeBron James, and it has made things miserable for NBA MVP Derrick Rose of Chicago — especially late in games.

http://www.sbnation.com/nba/2011/5/27/2193005/lebron-james-defense-derrick-rose-miami-heat-chicago-bulls

One of the biggest factors in the Miami Heat's 4-1 Eastern Conference Finals win over the Chicago Bulls was the defense LeBron James (a 6'8 small forward) played on Derrick Rose (a 6'3 point guard, one of the league's quickest players, and the NBA MVP). LeBron took over Rose duty in critical moments, including entire fourth quarters. And the two-time MVP clearly shut down his successor.

But the level to which LeBron locked up Rose is still amazing, even for those who watched every second of the series. Via J.E. Skeets, ESPN's Stats and Info Department put together the data to show how incredible James' defense on Rose was in this series.

After going 0-for-5 from the floor with a turnover when guarded by LeBron James in Game 4, Derrick Rose struggled against him once again Thursday, going 1-for-10 with two turnovers in Game 5. Rose shot 6.3 percent from the floor in the series when defended by James, lowest among any player that defended him on five or more plays.

That's just unbelievable -- 1-15 for the MVP over two critical playoff games when defending by a player five inches taller and maybe 50 pounds heavier. There's a reason LeBron makes the All-Defense team every year, and while he'll continue to for the next several years. That's just unfair.

Great stuff. Keep it coming! (good to know whether they're eventually hired or not)

Here's the Google translation of the extended bio posted at Messina's website [ http://www.ettoremessina.it/ ]:

---

Ettore Messina to Catania was born September 30, 1959 graduated in Economics and Commerce, speaks English and Spanish.


He began his activities with the youth of Reyer Venice in 1976. From 1980 to 1982 he was Head of the Youth of the Superga Mestre. After a year as an assistant in Udine, came to Virtus Bologna in 1983 as Head of the Youth and Assistant to the first team.

After being the assistant also Sandro Gamba, was appointed in 1989 Head Coach Virtus Bologna. Winner of the 1992/93 championship, with Knorr Bologna, also won five titles and youth, as head coach an Italian Cup and one Cup Winners Cup, one European title of Virtus.

E 'was honored as Coach of the Year for the Youth Sector, in the years '84, '85 and '86, and for the league, in '90, '93, 1998 and 2001. In 1980 he began collaborating with the National Sector Team for the youth representative. For the national team has been scouting the European Championships of 1991 and assistant to Alessandro Gamba Olympic Qualifiers in 1992 in Granada and Zaragoza.

Since January 1993 he led the National A, whereby the first year, he won gold at the Mediterranean Games ('93) and has participated in the European Championship held in Germany.

In 1994 he won the silver medal at the Goodwill Games in St. Petersburg in 1995 and finished fifth at European Championships in Athens. In June 1997 he won the silver medal at the European championships and qualifying for the next world.

In the 1997/98 season is busy as a coach of Virtus Bologna with this team won in 1998, both the Champions League that the Italian championship.
In the 2000-01 season he won a sensational Grand Slam leading his team to victory in the Italian Cup, and Euroleague Championship (Champions League)
The 2001-02 season saw the team from Bologna with serious injuries, from Griffith Becirovic, but still able to win the Italian Cup, the finals in the Champions League semifinals and championship in the playoffs.

Ettore Messina, had the great satisfaction of seeing several of his athletes hired by American teams participating in the legendary NBA and one of them, Manuel Ginobili has even won the 2003-04 title with S. Antonio Spurs.

In 2002-03 he coached Benetton Treviso in which he won almost every trophy of the season: the Italian Super Cup, the Italian Cup, the championship and the Euroleague final.

In the 2003-04 season he won the Italian Cup.

The following season he won the Italian Cup and access to top 16 Euroleague.

From 2005-06 was head coach of CSKA Moscow team that has brought success in the league, Russian Cup and Euroleague (still a grand slam). In the season just ended is still a success in the league and national cup, the team also reached the final in Moscow 2006-07 Euroleague.

E 'Vice President of the Italian coaches (USAP), Director of the European Association (EABC) and collaborates, as a teacher outside the School of Management at the University Bocconi of Milan.

For years, is also a popular and sought after speaker at corporate training courses related to leadership and teamwork.

In season 2008-09 the team in Moscow confirmed for the fourth consecutive year, champion of Russia, the historic team is the 40th national title. In the Euroleague team Messina remained among the strongest in Europe formations only losing the final after a meeting of high level with Panathinaikos Athens.

Ettore Messina is the new coach of Real Madrid. The former coach of the Italian signed a three-year contract with the club Madril. After the victories in both league and cup in Italy than in Russia and after the brilliant experience with the Italian national team here is a new fascinating adventure.
If the football team in Madrid has already bought Kaka and Ronaldo to win the Champions League, the main objective of the club Florentino Perez is now to make them shine even the basketball team in the Euroleague. Messina is a veteran of the competition, having played the last four finals with CSKA, with a budget of two wins and two defeats.

---

If you're wondering about his English ... (via Youtube) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fEaSKjTP-7k

Oh geez. Sorry about the YouTube dupe.

Clip of Messina conducting a clinic in Canada -> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GkNQG8On90c

Tech N9ne - How did Phil embarrass Steve during the Mavs finals?

Posted by: Mark Medina | May 27, 2011 at 01:36 PM

by keeping him in the game when he was stinking really bad, throwing some wild passes, not being able to hold the ball, or not being able to finish on a wide open layup...

you don't remember? after that game everyone said that Steve Blake either will come back strong or fail again lol

wasn't that the idea why PJ kept him in the game despite clear signs that he should have been on the bench!

@G. Money - congrats to your Heat. So far so good. You got bragging rights thus far. But can you explain how you went from a diehard Laker fan (I think you said you were one right?) to becoming a Heat fan? Or are you just a Lebron fan? Will you be a Heat fan after Lebron and DWade or will you be seeking the next big thing?

Posted by: LRob2 | May 27, 2011 at 07:25 AM

Music Maestro ...Dude I've always liked the Show and also like Lakerholics why else would I be here, someone has to SCHOOL them. After catering an event for Wade after their 2006 championship, it was on. As a matter of fact I got the job after one interview. I read a comment was posted to trade Kobe while he still has some value. Maybe that's what Jim is looking to do, listen up. Kobe's bent out of shape because he feel's disrespected...RIGHT? He gets in a confrontation with Brown, Jim steps in Kobe demands a trade. A smart move, you unload that BIG contract, get some great players and some high draft picks. That Jim is a SMART MAN, There is nothing as bad as a FADING star that still thinks he's the SUN.

HEAT in 6, I've been RIGHT all year.

If the football team in Madrid has already bought Kaka and Ronaldo to win the Champions League, the main objective of the club Florentino Perez is now to make them shine even the basketball team in the Euroleague. Messina is a veteran of the competition, having played the last four finals with CSKA, with a budget of two wins and two defeats.

---

Posted by: latopia | May 27, 2011 at 02:07 PM

great stuff latopia, but I'm confused, are you giving an example using soccer player names, Ronaldo & Kaka or are you making an example of how it should be...

because I got to tell you... Barcelona is the real Champions League Winner lol

Real Madrid is done, along with Jose Murihno, Kaka or Ronaldo... plus Kaka beraly played a game due to his injury!

you don't remember? after that game everyone said that Steve Blake either will come back strong or fail again lol

wasn't that the idea why PJ kept him in the game despite clear signs that he should have been on the bench!

Posted by: Tech N9ne | May 27, 2011 at 02:24 PM

Are you sure you're not referring to Pau Gasol? or was that Ron Artest?
or was that D-Fish?

So many Lakers to choose from. So little time to type their names ...


@MM... I think using TypePad login system has accomplished what we hoped it would by eliminating handle jacking and trolls. And I really like being able to view prior posts made by any blogger in chronological order. Now we really have an archive that is easily accessed.
..................................
@PSY ... Excellent point about Ettore being able to converse with Kobe in Italian. MM hit the nail on the head that the most important job every boss has is to pick his team. The assistant coaches that Mike hires will say worlds about his chances for success as the Lakers next head coach.
...
After having lived for so long with Phil’s various idiosyncrasies, it will be fun seeing how Mike views different players roles next year. Will he play Drew at the end of games? Will he substitute for the hot shooter to keep his rotations consistent? Will he call timeouts when the team loses it? Will he order the team to pass the ball inside to our bigs? Will he call Kobe out for breaking the offense?
...
Word is that Brown also is looking to lure Tim Grgurich of the Mavs once the NBA Finals are over. Grgurich is one of the most respected NBA assistant coaches who started his career at UNLV working under Jerry Tarkanian and then later with George Karl in Seattle. Mike may also retain Chuck Person, with whom he worked when both were assistants under Rick Carlyle at Indiana.
...
I also agree 100% that we need a true point guard now that Brian Shaw is not going to take over for Phil Jackson Pau Gasol could probably get us Chris Paul or Deron Williams but the trade I would like to see would be Lamar Odom for Raymond Felton, whom the Nuggets do not need since they have Ty Lawson. That would leave us with the MLE (assuming it still exists) to use for a 3-point shooter.
..................................
TOM


great stuff latopia, but I'm confused, are you giving an example using soccer player names, Ronaldo & Kaka or are you making an example of how it should be...

---

Not me but whoever wrote Messina's bio. Otherwise I defer to your judgement on soccer, Barcelona & RM because the only football champions I know of are currently cheezheads.

Posted by: latopia | May 27, 2011 at 02:50 PM

oh okay thats cool, I was kind of confused thats why, first they talk about basketball then soccer, and its funny to me because, the same name for soccer goes for the baskbetball as well so lets say: REAL MADRID - soccer is also REAL MADRID - basketball, same with Barcelona, CSKA moscow... its wierd trend, but I think Europeans love doing that..

Imagine if there was a soccer team called Los Angeles Lakers lol how funny would that be, but I bet well be the top dog in that sport as well... haha

Did Scotty Pipen really say what he ment? Is Lebronz better than Jordan? the Jordan? MJ? Air Time Jordan? lol Pippen is smoking some good stuff, just because they beat the BULLS who only have one superstar they end up making Lebronz into MJ... oh boy... the world is coming to an end folks..

re: I also agree 100% that we need a true point guard now that Brian Shaw is not going to take over for Phil Jackson Pau Gasol could probably get us Chris Paul or Deron Williams but the trade I would like to see would be Lamar Odom for Raymond Felton, whom the Nuggets do not need since they have Ty Lawson. That would leave us with the MLE (assuming it still exists) to use for a 3-point shooter.

Why?

1. Neither NO nor NJ is going to give us an all-star PG for Pau Gasol.

2. After all the comments about the versatility of LO, you want to trade him
away for a small PG?

What happened to size is our biggest advantage? What happened to a
backup at the C/PF position in case our monstrous C w/ concave knees
get's another injury? Why would you want to get rid of our fastest, most
versatile big?

Let me give you some guidance on this. Ron Artest. Every trade you think of
should involve Ron Artest & Luke Walton.

Why? The blown break away dunk/layup/youtube blooper against Dallas
should answer all of your questions about Artest.

Luke should be self-explanatory.

In reality, cut Theo & Joe Smith. Draft a quick PG regardless of if he's the
best or not the best out there.

Nobody is going to give us a good deal for anyone not named Kobe or Pau
and I think we'd be stupid to get rid of Kobe, Pau, or LO. Andrew Bynum
is the foster son of Jim Buss and will be a Laker until the day after his
cremation regardless of the second coming of Jesus.

I'd love to see Jeannie Buss stage a coup and get rid of Jim Buss. That must
be the percocet talking. :(

So many Lakers to choose from. So little time to type their names ...

Posted by: hobbitmage | May 27, 2011 at 02:38 PM

sorry hobbit I must have not seen your post but yeah there were a lot of Floppers out there during the finals, I cant put my fingure on them all but I remeber steve Blakes, I'm not sure what game it was, not even sure if I want to remember but he kept on chocking when he had the ball, but PJ kept him in the game, even though he still sucked!!

but like you said, so many players not enough time to type their names! ha-ha-ha

re: After having lived for so long with Phil’s various idiosyncrasies, it will be fun seeing how Mike views different players roles next year. Will he play Drew at the end of games? Will he substitute for the hot shooter to keep his rotations consistent? Will he call timeouts when the team loses it? Will he order the team to pass the ball inside to our bigs? Will he call Kobe out for breaking the offense?

Will he kick our bigs' butts for not hustling?

Will he tell Kobe to "activate" when nobody on the team can buy a shot?

Will he play Barnes over Artest because Artest can't jump?

@ G Money - Cool. So now the only question I have is will you be a Heat fan after the Lebron/Wade era? By the way how is your play doing? Are you bringing it to the midwest?


@Tech - Scottie also said MJ was probably the greatest scorer to ever play...totally ignoring Kareem. Anyway Pip cleaned up his Lebron statement later by tweeting that Lebron has the potential to reach MJ's level.


@LRob2

I was reading Yahoo NBA news and I came up on the headline, and I was like what is going on, is scotty P. joining the south beach banwagon?? but you know whats so funny, Bravo has a show called Real Housewifes, I dont watch it but I read about it, and apperantly the New season of the show, which deals with Miami/south beach housewifes, Scotty Pipens wife is on the show, and apperantly scotty lives part time in Miami, so I guess it justifies his comments lol

@Tech,

Hmmm....I'll have to ask my wife if she's watched that (since she keeps me in the loop on some of the NBA TMZ type stuff). Either way that's not cool on Scottie's part. He's on the Bulls payroll. People in Chi-town were already upset with getting bounced by the Heat and to have one of their own come out an crown Lebron over MJ. Well you can imagine the fury in Chicago right now. Plus the comment is just disrespectful to all the other all-time greats.

"Nobody is going to give us a good deal for anyone not named Kobe or Pau
and I think we'd be stupid to get rid of Kobe, Pau, or LO. Andrew Bynum
is the foster son of Jim Buss and will be a Laker until the day after his
cremation regardless of the second coming of Jesus."

---

Ha! That's also why Dwight-to-LAL is such a pipedream.

OTOH, the Grizz could sign-and-trade Marc to LAL if they coveted a more traditional big like Drew to pair w/Z-Bo.

"Could" but would?

Can you imagine Pau dogging, pouting or disappearing w/Baby Bro onboard?

And the synergy -- both offensive and defensive -- the Gasol Bros might produce under Brown's prodding?

Hmmm.

Anyone know M Browns track record with rooks and young players.
I know he took over LeBron at 21 but what about players that aren't in that category.

It would be nice to see Ebanks and others get some real minutes to see if they can really play.

I wonder if Trey Johnson might get a chance to actually break into the rotation if they don't trade for a real PG.

That might mean Fish or Blake would be on the way out.

Or maybe they just switch Blake/Fish roles to see what Blake can do (scary).

From Yahoo - Jason Terry got a tat of the LO Trophy on his bicept. Dude - what are you going to do with that when your carreer ends with 0 rings??

Let me give you some guidance on this. Ron Artest. Every trade you think of
should involve Ron Artest & Luke Walton.

Why? The blown break away dunk/layup/youtube blooper against Dallas
should answer all of your questions about Artest.

In reality, cut Theo & Joe Smith. Draft a quick PG regardless of if he's the
best or not the best out there.
Posted by: hobbitmage
=======

hobbitmage,

Funny post (parts of it).

Agree though about the trade, Ron should be first in line but I don't know what they can get for him.

You were kidding about Luke I suppose, you think he is really tradeable?

You mention drafting a quick PG, what do you think about Trey J?

I'd like to call my shot early and predict Lakers -Heat next year. Of course, the season will only be anout 50 games. If Kobe wins his sixth in a shortened season look out for all the Haters calling for an asterisk.

Don't know why you guys are all over the quick point guard thing. Westbrook is quick, so is Rose, so is Rondo. You what they have in common? Whose left? A 39 year old Point and I don't even know who Miami's point is.

Lakers need another athletic 3 to bang with Lebron - that's it.

HmrHed,

That's a valid point, but the Lakers do desperately need outside shooting too.

Lakers SORELY needed a quick PG first and foremost for defensive purpose. While it's impossible to stop dribble penetration 100% from opposing NBA PGs, with a decent PG of their own at least Lakers can minimize it. That's where the breakdown of LA defense usually started in the past. I strongly disagreed with Phil Jackson's non-chalant and over-dependent on Lakers bigs to stop penetration. IMO Lakers bigs should be the LAST line of defense, not FIRST to be over-used as a crutch.

Next a quick PG will enable Lakers to do to their opponents the same thing they have been victimized of for years. With plenty of weapons around from Bynum in close, to Gasol/Odom at mid-range and Kobe everywhere else a Lakers PG can run a pick n roll and have lot of juicy targets to kick the ball out to.

I must disagree with Laker Tom about trading away LO for such a PG. As a last resort I would rather trade Gasol than LO. Even if it does not bring equal value Gasol is more expendable than LO. As much as I love Gasol and appreciate his talent as well as past contribution I rather keep LO and his versatility, his speed, his rebounding, his toughness (well at least compare to Gasol). LO to replace Gasol in the starting lineup may mean a couple of inches less in the size department but he more than make up for it with the afore-mentioned qualities. LO can also stretch the court and open it up for Bynum inside more than Gasol can because he can shoot the trey.

Of course without LO, the bench will be severely weakened but that's another topic.

Luke is NOT TRADABLE..... HE IS THE L.A. LAKERS VIP'S BENCH WARMER / BENCH WARMER HALL OF FAMER!!!

SO, IT'S USELESS TO PUT LUKE'S NAME OUT THERE..... HE IS A KEEPER!!!

LUKE IS #1!

@GMoney

"I read a comment was posted to trade Kobe while he still has some value. Maybe that's what Jim is looking to do, listen up. Kobe's bent out of shape because he feel's disrespected...RIGHT? He gets in a confrontation with Brown, Jim steps in Kobe demands a trade. A smart move, you unload that BIG contract, get some great players and some high draft picks. That Jim is a SMART MAN, There is nothing as bad as a FADING star that still thinks he's the SUN."

AMEN BROTHER! I CAN'T WAIT FOR THE DAY THAT HAPPENS. THERE WILL BE A PARTY AT MY HOUSE. EVERYONE IS INVITED. BECAUSE "THE SUN", MR "I EAT FIRST" STILL AFTER 15 YEARS DON'T UNDERSTAND TEAM BASKETBALL.

@LRob2

"@Tech - Scottie also said MJ was probably the greatest scorer to ever play...totally ignoring Kareem. Anyway Pip cleaned up his Lebron statement later by tweeting that Lebron has the potential to reach MJ's level."

THERE'S NO WAY KAREEM IS IN THE DISCUSSION OF GREATEST SCORER WITH MJ. HANDS DOWN THERE'S NO ONE ELSE BETTER SCORER THAN MJ. EVEN KOBE NEVER WILL BE AT THAT LEVEL. PEOPLE TEND TO FORGET MJ PLAYED THROUGH THE "HAND-CHECKING" ERA.

IF MJ PLAYED IN THIS ERA NOW, 40PTS WOULD BE LIKE SHOOTING FREE THROWS.


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