The Lakers have hired Ettore Messina, who will serve as a coaching consultant for the team, it was announced today by Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak.
“I am honored to have received this opportunity from one of the greatest basketball organizations in the world,” said Messina. “I have great respect for Coach Mike Brown and I’m excited to work with him and his staff.”
Messina joins the Lakers after spending the last two years as the head coach of the Spanish League Club, Real Madrid. Prior to his stint with Real Madrid, Messina was head coach of CSKA Moscow for four seasons (2005-2009) where he led the team to two Euroleague Championships (2006, 2008) and four Russian SuperLeague titles (2006-2009).
Before coaching in the Russian League, Messina served as a coach in the Italian League for over 15 years. He earned two Euroleague Championships (1998 and 2001) as well as several Italian championships with Virtus Bologna, where he had two stints as head coach (1989-1993, 1997-2002). After leaving Bologna, Messina went on to coach Benetton Treviso from 2002-2005, guiding the team to an Italian championship in 2003.
Named one of the Euroleague’s 10 Greatest All-Time Coaches in 2008, Messina has earned numerous coaching accolades throughout his career including European Coach of the Year in 1998, Euroleague Coach of the Year in 2006 and 2008, and Italian Coach of the Year in 1990, 1993, 1998, 2001 and 2005.
A native of Catania, Italy, Messina also served as head coach of the senior men’s Italian national basketball team (1993-1997), where he led Italy to the silver medal at the EuroBasket in 1997.