Report: Raptors to interview Spurs assistant coaches Ettore Messina and Ime Udoka
NBA.com staff reports
All is quiet on the Kawhi Leonard front in San Antonio. Meanwhile, the coaching activity is going non-stop.
The assistants for Gregg Popovich have been getting serious looks all spring, and the Raptors will interview Ettore Messina and Ime Udoka for their vacant position, according to ESPN.
Already, the Spurs lost James Borrego to the Hornets; he was hired earlier this month to replace Steve Clifford. It’s the first head coaching job for Borrego, who did serve as an interim coach in Orlando two years ago after the Magic fired Jacque Vaughn, who also was a former Spurs assistant.
Plus, Becky Hammon interviewed for the vacant Bucks’ job that eventually went to Mike Budenholzer, making a first for a woman in the NBA.
Messina and Udoka have been mentioned in previous openings where they competed for the same position. Such is the case once again, to fill the job vacated by Dwane Casey.
Toronto fired Dwane Casey, the winningest coach in franchise history, earlier this month, despite a franchise-record 59 regular-season victories. Cleveland swept Toronto in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Messina made strong impressions in head-coaching interviews with Charlotte and Milwaukee this spring. He has been one of the world’s top coaches for decades, a legendary international coach with four EuroLeague championships as a head coach. Messina has coached such global powers as Benetton Treviso, Real Madrid and CSKA Moscow.
Messina, 58, has been part of Gregg Popovich’s staff since 2014.
Udoka, 40, also has interviewed for offseason openings with Charlotte and Orlando. He has spent six seasons on Popovich’s staff after seven years as an NBA player.