The coaching search farthest removed from the New York Knicks-level spotlight could prove to be one of the most fascinating of the NBA offseason. That's because the Utah Jazz, I'm told, are on that very short list of teams that will give bona fide consideration to breaking basketball's Euro barrier on the X's and O's side by hiring a new head coach who wasn't reared in North America. NBA coaching sources say that the Jazz will take a legit look at Italian legend Ettore Messina now that they're on the hunt for a replacement for Ty Corbin, who was informed Monday after three-plus seasons as Jerry Sloan's successor that he would not be offered a new contract. The immediate focus, in terms of replacements, centered on San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Jim Boylen. And rightfully so, given Boylen's longstanding ties to Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey ... along with the seal of approval that comes when you're hired by Gregg Popovich to help fill the void created by the departures of Mike Budenholzer and Brett Brown to head-coaching gigs in Atlanta and Philadelphia, respectively. However ... Boylen's rough stint as the University of Utah's coach from 2007 to 2011 complicates his candidacy with the Jazz, since hiring him would almost certainly generate a lukewarm response from the local die-hards. Lindsey is secure enough in his beliefs to hire Boylen anyway if he and fellow Jazz officials decide that Boylen is the wisest choice, but you would also expect the very thorough Lindsey to have other options in mind. None of whom, mind you, generates the sort of curiosity that Messina can. The Spurs are the team with the longest-known fondness for Messina. Lindsey, of course, was imported from San Antonio to succeed Kevin O'Connor in Utah.
Jazz eyeing Italian legend Messina?
ESPN | Apr 23