Ettore Messina joins CSKA Moscow
There figures to be a lot of change for the Los Angeles Lakers this offseason after a second straight second-round disappointment in the playoffs. The first shoe to drop began with the coaching staff.
Famed Italian coach Ettore Messina, who served as a coaching consultant to coach Mike Brown last season, is going back to Europe to coach CSKA Moscow, Messina told ESPNLosAngeles.com on Tuesday.
Messina previously coached CSKA Moscow from 2005-08 and experienced great success, winning two Euroleague championships and four Russian SuperLeague titles in four seasons with the team.
Messina met with Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak on Monday at the adidas Eurocamp in Treviso, Italy, and informed Kupchak of his decision.
Messina's contract with the Lakers was up, but Kupchak had extended an offer to return to Messina last week.
The 52-year old coach also had head-coaching offers from two teams in Istanbul, according to a league source, but ultimately decided a return to CSKA was his best option.
Messina's contract with CSKA Moscow has yet to be finalized, but will include an out clause should any NBA head-coaching opportunities arise. There are two head-coaching vacancies in the NBA -- Orlando and Charlotte -- and there potentially could be a third if Portland decides not to retain interim coach Kaleb Canales.
Messina was relied upon for his offensive expertise in his lone season with the Lakers and assumed lead assistant coach John Kuester's duties when Kuester had a leave of absence from the team in April following the death of his mother.