Ettore Messina
2021-12-03 ALBA Berlin gegen Pallacanestro Olimpia Milano (EuroLeague 2021-22) by Sandro Halank–122.jpg
Ettore Messina (2021)
Olimpia Milano
PositionHead coach
Personal information
Born (1959-09-30) 30 September 1959 (age 62)
Catania, Italy
Coaching career1976–present
Career history
As coach:
1976–1980Reyer Venezia (youth)
1980–1982Basket Mestre (youth)
1982–1983A.P.U. Udine (assistant)
1983–1989Virtus Bologna (assistant)
1989–1993Virtus Bologna
1997–2002Virtus Bologna
2002–2005Benetton Treviso
2005–2009CSKA Moscow
2009–2011Real Madrid
2011–2012Los Angeles Lakers (consultant)
2012–2014CSKA Moscow
20142019San Antonio Spurs (assistant)
2019–presentOlimpia Milano
Career highlights and awards
As head coach:

As assistant coach:

FIBA Hall of Fame as coach

Ettore Messina (born 30 September 1959) is an Italian professional basketball coach who is the head coach of Olimpia Milano of the Italian Lega Basket Serie A (LBA). He has won four EuroLeague championships as a head coach. Messina is regarded as one of the best European basketball coaches of all time, having been named one of the 50 Greatest EuroLeague Contributors in 2008.

He was named the Italian League's Best Coach three times, in the years 1998, 2001, and 2005. Furthermore, he has been named EuroLeague's Coach of the Year twice, in 2006 and 2008. He was inducted into the Italian Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008, and into the Russian VTB United League Hall of Fame, in 2019. Messina also previously worked with the San Antonio Spurs, as an assistant coach for Gregg Popovich, from 2014 to 2019.

Club coaching career

Virtus Bologna

Messina had two different stints (1989–1993 and 1997–2002) as the head coach at the Italian League team, Virtus Bologna. In the 1989–90 season, he won the Italian Cup and also the second-tier level European-wide league, the FIBA Cup Winners' Cup, against Real Madrid, in Florence. He also won the Italian League national championship in 1993. During his second stint at Virtus, he coached the team to win the first-tier level European-wide EuroLeague championship, in both 1997–98 and 2000–01. He also added two Italian League championships to his trophy case in 1998 and 2001, as well as three Italian Cup titles in 1999, 2001, and 2002.

Benetton Treviso

Messina then served as the head coach of the Italian League club Benetton Treviso, where he succeeded Mike D'Antoni as head coach, in 2002. He stayed there for 3 seasons. With Treviso, he won the Italian League championship in 2003, and also the Italian Cup title thrice, adding them to a total streak of 5 consecutive titles, with two different clubs.

CSKA Moscow

Messina then joined the Russian club CSKA Moscow in 2005, and led the team to the EuroLeague's 2005–06 title, and the coveted Triple Crown, in his first season there. On 4 May 2008, CSKA won the EuroLeague championship again under Messina - the club gained its sixth EuroLeague title by downing Maccabi Tel Aviv at the 2007–08 Madrid edition of the EuroLeague Final Four. He resigned from CSKA immediately after leading them to a Russian Championship and the EuroLeague Final, during the 2008–09 season. He was offered a position as the technical director at CSKA, but at the time of his resignation, he had not decided whether or not he wanted to stay with the club.[1]

Real Madrid

Messina was announced as the new head coach of the Spanish League club Real Madrid, on 18 June 2009,[2] and signed his contract with the club the following day. After Real Madrid had several poor performances, Messina resigned from the club's head coach position, in March 2011.[3]

Los Angeles Lakers

Messina was frequently the subject of speculation linking him with vacant coaching jobs in the NBA. For example, he was one of the many coaches in the discussion for the Sacramento Kings head coaching role, and it was also rumored that he would join the Toronto Raptors and San Antonio Spurs coaching staffs. Messina eventually agreed to join the Los Angeles Lakers, as part of head coach Mike Brown's coaching staff, as a full-time consultant to the head coach, for the 2011–12 season.[4]

Return to CSKA Moscow

In June 2012, Messina decided to leave his job as a consultant for the Los Angeles Lakers, and he returned to CSKA Moscow, to become the team's head coach.[5] In June 2014, he parted ways with CSKA Moscow.[6]

San Antonio Spurs

On 15 July 2014, Messina was hired by the San Antonio Spurs, as an assistant coach.[7] On 16 October 2014, Messina would coach the Spurs in a 121–90 preseason win against the Phoenix Suns, due to Gregg Popovich being unable to travel with the team at the time.[8]

Messina would later take on the role of the World Team's head coach in the 2016 NBA Rising Stars Challenge. On 7–8 March 2016, Messina again served as head coach of the Spurs, for two games, due to Gregg Popovich leaving the team for a family emergency.[9] On 19 April 2018, Messina temporarily took over head coaching duties of the team in their playoff series versus the Golden State Warriors, due to Popovich having left the team in light of his wife's death the previous night.[10]

Olimpia Milano

On 11 June 2019, Messina signed a three-year contract, and agreed to become the new head coach and President of Basketball Operations of the Italian club Olimpia Milano.[11][12]

National team coaching career

From 1993 to 1997 Messina was the head coach of the senior men's Italian national basketball team. He coached Italy at the 1993 EuroBasket and the 1995 EuroBasket, and he also led Italy to the silver medal at the 1997 EuroBasket.

In 2016, Messina took a short leave of absence from the San Antonio Spurs, in order to return as the head coach of the Azzurri, with the goal of qualifying for the 2016 Rio Summer Olympic Game. Messina coached Italy at the 2016 Turin FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament. At the qualification tournament, Italy lost to Croatia, and thus failed to qualify to the 2016 Summer Olympics. He also coached Italy at the 2017 EuroBasket.

Coaching record

G Games coached W Games won L Games lost W–L % Win-loss %

Note: The EuroLeague is not the only competition in which the team played during the season. He also coached in domestic competition, and regional competition if applicable.

Team Year G W L W–L% Result
Virtus Bologna 1991–92 19 13 6 .684 Lost in Quarterfinal Playoffs
1992–93 16 8 8 .500 Lost in Quarterfinal Playoffs
1997–98 22 19 3 .864 Won EuroLeague Championship
1998–99 23 15 8 .652 Lost in EuroLeague Finals
2000–01 23 20 3 .870 Won EuroLeague Championship
2001–02 22 17 5 .773 Lost in EuroLeague Finals
Treviso 2002–03 22 18 4 .818 Lost in EuroLeague Finals
2003–04 20 14 6 .700 Eliminated at Top 16 Stage
2004–05 22 12 10 .545 Lost in Quarterfinal Playoffs
CSKA Moscow
2005–06 24 19 5 .792 Won EuroLeague Championship
2006–07 25 22 3 .880 Lost in EuroLeague Finals
2007–08 25 20 5 .800 Won Euroleague Championship
2008–09 21 16 5 .762 Lost in EuroLeague Finals
Real Madrid 2009–10 20 12 8 .600 Lost in Quarterfinal Playoffs
2010–11 16 11 5 .688 (resigned)
CSKA Moscow 2012–13 26 21 5 .808 Lost in EuroLeague Semifinals
2013–14 31 22 9 .710 Lost in EuroLeague Semifinals
AX Armani Exchange Milan 2019-20 28 12 16 .429 Season was cancelled due to the Covid-19 Pandemic
2020-21 41 25 16 .610 Lost in EuroLeague Semifinals
Career 377 279 98 .740

Domestic Leagues

Team Year G W L W–L% Result
PBC CSKA Moscow 2007–08 32 31 1 .9688 Won 2008 Russian Super League 1 Finals
PBC CSKA Moscow 2008–09 32 30 2 .9375 Won 2009 Russian Super League 1 Finals
Real Madrid 2009–10 42 31 11 .7381 Lost 2011 Liga ACB Second Round
Real Madrid 2010–11 40 29 11 .7250 Lost 2011 Liga ACB Second Round
PBC CSKA Moscow 2012–13 31 24 7 .7742 Won 2013 VTB United League Finals
PBC CSKA Moscow 2013–14 29 24 5 .8276 Won 2014 VTB United League Finals
AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan 2019–20 21 14 7 .7500 League cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic
AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan 2020–21 38 28 10 .7368 Lost 2021 Italian League Finals
Career 265 213 52 .8038

See also


  1. ^ "Messina era ends, Pashutin hired at CSKA!". 8 June 2009. Retrieved 9 June 2009.
  2. ^ "Real Madrid: Messina takes over as head coach". 18 June 2009. Retrieved 19 June 2009.
  3. ^ "Ettore Messina officially leaves Real Madrid". 4 March 2011. Retrieved 30 November 2014.
  4. ^ " Lakers: Messina to Consult Brown". Archived from the original on 7 June 2011. Retrieved 5 June 2011.((cite web)): CS1 maint: unfit URL (link).
  5. ^ McMenamin, Dave. "Ettore Messina joins CSKA Moscow". ESPN. Retrieved 23 August 2012.
  6. ^ "CSKA Moscow, Messina part ways". 16 June 2014. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
  7. ^ "Spurs Announce Ettore Messina Assistant Coach". 15 July 2014. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
  8. ^ "Ettore Messina will serve as acting coach for the Spurs in Phoenix". 16 October 2014. Retrieved 30 November 2014.
  10. ^ Ley, Tom (19 April 2018). "Gregg Popovich Won't Coach Spurs In Game 3 Following Death Of His Wife". Deadspin. Retrieved 14 June 2019.
  11. ^ "Ettore Messina is Olimpia Milan's New Head Coach". 11 June 2019. Retrieved 14 June 2019.
  12. ^ "Legend Messina takes reins in Milan". 11 June 2019. Retrieved 11 June 2019.