Report: Jeff Van Gundy, Ettore Messina, Ime Udoka draw interest in Nets coaching search


The Brooklyn Nets will officially be in offseason mode in a few hours, but Nets general manager Sean Marks has already started putting together a list of coaching candidates, which include two of his former colleagues with the San Antonio Spurs.

Per Marc Stein of, Marks has “interest” in Spurs assistant coaches Ettore Messina and Ime Udoka, as well as former NBA coach and current ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy.

Messina is a natural fit: he’s garnered praise as one of the “next up” assistants, and has professional connections both to Marks and Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov. Messina coached CSKA Moscow to championships in Russia, a team Prokhorov owned before buying the Nets. Udoka, like Marks, was a player in the Spurs organization before entering their front office, and has been an assistant coach with the team since 2012. The Nets also signed Udoka to a training camp contract before the lockout-shortened 2011-12 season, but he never played with them.

Van Gundy, the former coach of the Houston Rockets and New York Knicks, is frequently mentioned when these jobs pop up (as they often do in New York).

The 21-60 Nets close their season against the Toronto Raptors tonight.