One of the greatest giants of the coaching profession,4 times Euroleague winner Ettore Messina is enjoying his second coming to Russian powerhouse CSKA Moscow. With the record 9-1 they comfortably qualified to the Top 16 and are one of the hottest favourites to lift the Euroleague Trophy in London. Future Stars had the pleasure of talking to Ettore Messina about his previous experiences with CSKA, his time with LA Lakers and also about some issues affecting the current crop of young superstars.
FS: You are at the early stage of building your second dynasty in Moscow. The first one was extremely successful, so it will be very difficult to eclipse what you have already achieved with CSKA. How would you asses the process of building a new team and how would you compare it with your “old” legendary outfits which dominated Europe?
FS: We already stated that you were very successful during your first stint with CSKA and basically you have nothing to prove in Moscow. What really lured you to Russia again to take this challenge?
FS: You spoke very elaborately about your time in the LA being a fast and sharp learning curve. Don’t you however feel slightly disappointed that your enormous knowledge and experience was actually wasted there and the Lakers didn’t resemble at all the teams which you led in Europe?
FS: Why in your opinion are NBA teams so reluctant to reach for European coaches? The influx of European players and the European approach to the game is very visible, but there is no European coaches there.
FS: Would you agree with the theory that modern basketball is very difficult to penetrate for young players. In the 80’s and even early 90’s we had whole teams based on young players which were very successful in major European competitions. This is unthinkable right now. What are the reasons behind this state of affairs?
Photographs courtesy of CSKAbasket.com