Italian coach, Ettore Messina, has quit his consultant job at the LA Lakers in the NBA, making a comeback to Russian basketball’s powerhouse, CSKA Moscow.
CSKA’s Board have adopted the club’s three-year development program on Monday, in which Messina is the key element.
The Italian has already worked with the Armymen in 2005 – 2009, leading them to two Euroleague wins as well as four domestic titles and two Russian Cups.
“For the Board to sign Messina was one of the strategic priorities during the formation of the club for the coming season, the key to a new three-year program,” Andrey Vatutin, CSKA’s President, told the club’s official website. “The head coach doesn’t need time to adapt – he will start working immediately. At the same time he will have to start all over again, because Ettore takes over a completely different team which he will have to create. Messina in acquired a new interesting experience in post-CSKA period, including the NBA experience, and I am sure his new knowledge will be useful for CSKA.”
Meanwhile, coach Jonas Kazlauskas is leaving the club after a year on charge, despite guiding CSKA to the Russian title and Euroleague silver last season.
“At the same time it is very difficult to part with Jonas, an intelligent, decent man and an excellent coach,” Vatutin added. “I want to emphasize that we have no complaints about his work – under the guidance of coach Kazlauskas CSKA had one of the most successful seasons in its history, the team demonstrated spectacular basketball, young players were able to show themselves, to reach a new level. Nevertheless, the Board adopted a new club three-year program, which provides a major renovation of roster and coaching staff, and improvement of the reserves. I would like to sincerely thank Jonas and I wish him luck in his future career.”
Messina is going to be officially presented as CSKA Moscow coach at press conference on July 21.
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