Messina would be a tough fit for today's NBA

MIKE GANTER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:37 PM ET

LONDON — Before the Raptors faithful get all bent out of shape declaring the suddenly available Ettore Messina as a viable option should the team not elect to bring head coach Jay Triano back next year, consider the following:

Messina is without question a great coach, a great tactician and has more than proven himself in Europe.

His credentials speak for themselves.

And while his shocking decision to quit Real Madrid on Friday certainly raises eyebrows throughout the sport regardless of the continent, it would require the perfect set of circumstances for a man as exacting and demanding as Messina to come into the NBA and have the kind of success he had in Europe.

Messina’s my-way-or-the-highway approach that has worked so well for him in Europe would be a very hard sell in the NBA.

Few outside of Jerry Sloan, formerly of Utah, and Gregg Popovich, of San Antonio, have been able to run a team in the NBA with that kind of approach. With many of today’s NBA millionaires calling the shots, unless there is someone at the top of the food chain like a Tim Duncan or Karl Malone or even John Stockton to set the tone for the rest, it’s almost a recipe for disaster.

Not saying it can’t happen. Just saying it would be very, very hard to do.


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