Learn from San Antonio Spurs Ettore Messina with these clinic notes on Pick & Roll Defense and Switching Defense!
San Antonio Spurs Ettore Messina likes to talk about Gregg Popovich and his relationship with Manu Ginobili. Coach Messina has a lot of respect for the history of his sport. Coach Popovich has affected San Antonio Spurs Ettore Messina. Coach Popovich has shown him how to do things, how they should be accomplished, and how not to take himself too seriously. The last one is something that Coach Popovich believes in very strongly. Character and Accountability are huge things for Coach Popovich.
Here are some differences between coaching in the Euroleague and NBA:
The first difference in the Euroleague and NBA is the surroundings. It’s a lot different in Europe as they have three different activities at the same time. You have the Euroleague, national league in their country, and national cup competition.
In Europe, they play about seventy games a year, but these games a split up among all the competitions. In the NBA, if you have a good team and lose 2-3 games in a row, it’s not a huge deal. In the Euroleague, if you lose three games in a row then you can drop a lot in the standings. The pressure is greater in the Euroleague to win every game. If you aren’t winning in the Euroleague, they might change players and coaches.
The length of the game is different in the Euroleague and NBA. The Euroleague games are forty minutes like in college basketball. In the NBA, the games can swing back and forth, because they are longer.
The Euroleague and NBA are different in the types of athletes that they have. In the NBA, you have players that can recover from a mistake, because they are athletic. In Europe, you might make a mistake regarding positions or fundamentals, but not everyone has the athleticism to make up for those mistakes.
The last difference is the timeouts. They don’t have the same amount in the Euroleague, so you can’t coach them up as you can in the NBA. In the Euroleague, you have to work on things in practice and go over situations unlike in the NBA where you can wing it.
The difference in relationships with your players in the Euroleague and NBA:
In Europe, the team dinner is a huge thing. In Italy, they have a dinner after the game like Coach Popovich does in the NBA when they are traveling. Coach Popovich sees them as HUGE team building opportunities. In those moments, you can tell that Pop is building relationships because they don’t talk basketball. They sit and talk about different things, but the most impressive thing is that they almost never talk hoops. They have a life outside of basketball together.
The Spurs organization does things a lot different than other NBA teams. You might have the same effect in other NBA teams if they tried it. The Spurs have a unique system of culture that they build with their players. Respect for people and accountability are big in this organization.
San Antonio Spurs Ettore Messina and Manu Ginobili’s relationship:
Ettore Messina and Manu Ginobili won a Euroleague championship with Virtus Bologna in 2001. Manu wasn’t their first option back then. It was a very accomplished organization, and he was coming from a small club in Reggio Calabria where he had an excellent coach. Manu was up and coming as a player and a big competitor. He would soak things up like a sponge.
Manu Ginobili was supposed to be a backup to a famous basketball player, Sasa Danilovic. Manu was going to learn and grow into the starting five, but Danilovic retired quickly. Manu had to learn on the fly. The funny thing is that it happened to Manu again when he got to the Spurs.
Click on the pdf link to download the San Antonio Spurs Ettore Messina Clinic Notes on Pick & Roll Defense:
Click on the pdf link to download the San Antonio Spurs Ettore Messina Clinic Notes on Switching Defense: