Kobe Bryant is in the midst of conducting this year’s sessions as his Basketball Academy, in Santa Barbara.
He’s got plenty to say to the kids in attendance and about his upcoming promotional tour in Asia. What he has yet to speak about are the many coaching changes made by the Los Angeles Lakers.
The most recent coach signing – there have been quite a few – was officially announced today by the team.
As expected, Ettore Messina, fresh from coaching the Spanish team, Real Madrid has agreed to consult for new head coach Mike Brown.
Brown used to jet off to Italy to attend Messina’s camps according to ESPN, for ideas while coaching LeBron and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Just how does a consultant’s role differ from an assistant coaching position in the Lakers organization? That hasn’t been made clear yet, although Hoops World mentioned that Messina will fill the role of Tex Winter on Phil Jackson’s staff, as a behind the bench coach.
The Lakers press release listed his accomoplishments. 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 his stint in Russia Messina coached in Italy for more than 15 years, making his time overlap a bit with Kobe’s early years overseas.
Messina earned two Euroleague Championships (1998 and 2001) while in Itlay as well as several Italian championships with Virtus Bologna.
Will this be the spark that ignites what all Laker-watchers are waiting for? While it is true that no one has spoken on the record about any discussions between Kobe and Mike Brown, other than the new coach’s comments at his introductory press conference, it doesn’t mean there hasn’t been communication.
The lack of public comment by Kobe continues to fuel rumors of bad feelings about the way the end of the Phil Jackson era unfolded. Laker performed Phil Jackson exorcism
Brian Shaw, the favored candidate of Bryant as well as co-captain Derek Fisher, just got signed by the Pacers, to what seemed like the last open NBA assistant job. Brian Shaw had to go to Indiana to get a job
After the hiring of the head coach, it’s been very quiet on the Lakers front this summer. Jeanie Buss has tweeted here and there about what Phil’s up to, but with the lockout in force, player movement rumors have ended.
What we have heard in a steady drip of information is the number of assistants assembled by Mike Brown, made up of old friends and colleagues. Messina is no exception.
Will the Italian coach cozy up to the Italian speaking Bryant? Who knows, but with Bryant heading off to Asia next week, we’ll have to wait longer to find out what will move him to speak about his new coaching staff.
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