Sources: Charlotte Hornets to interview Ettore Messina, David Fizdale

ByAdrian Wojnarowski ESPN logo
Saturday, April 21, 2018

San Antonio Spurs assistant Ettore Messina and former Memphis Grizzlies coach David Fizdale are set to interview for the Charlotte Hornets head-coaching job in the coming days, league sources told ESPN.

Messina and Fizdale are considered two of new Charlotte GM Mitch Kupchak's top candidates to replace Steve Clifford, league sources said.

Fizdale has interviewed for openings with the New York Knicks and Phoenix Suns.

After the death of coach Gregg Popovich's wife Erin, Messina coached the Spurs' Game 3 playoff game against Golden State and is set to do so again in Game 4 on Sunday.

Messina 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 made a strong impression on Kupchak with the Los Angeles Lakers, where Kupchak was GM and Messina was a part of Mike Brown's coaching staff that also included Quin Snyder. Messina, 58, has been part of Popovich's Spurs staff since 2014.

Fizdale has become one of the market's most coveted coaching candidates. He was 43-39 in the 2016-7 season, including a six-game playoff loss to the Spurs. He was fired in Memphis after a 7-12 start to this season.

He was a part of two NBA championships as Erik Spoelstra's top assistant coach with Miami, where Fizdale spent eight seasons before his hiring in Memphis.