It looks like the Lakers may have just landed their first interview.
According to Sam Amick from USA Today, the purple and gold have been granted permission by the San Antonio Spurs to interview their lead assistant coach Ettore Messina.
Messina was an assistant coach with the Lakers under Mike Brown, and it is understood that the Italian is currently being groomed to be Gregg Popovich’s replacement.
Amick also states that Messina and Golden State Warriors assistant Luke Walton are said to be on the Lakers’ “unofficial shortlist” of head coaching candidates.
Messina, 54, had a hugely successful career overseas before coming to the NBA in 2011.
Messina is a four-time Euroleague champion and two-time Euroleague Coach of the Year. He first started coaching in the 1980s and lead the Italian national team to a silver finish at the 1997 FIBA EuroBasket.
Clearly, he’s an experienced coach who is just waiting for a shot to lead an NBA team. Will he get that chance in Los Angeles? We’ll have to wait and see.