Ettore Messina spoke with Eurodevotion and referred to his career, Luka Doncic, the differences between the EuroLeague and the NBA as well as Gregg Popovich and Manu Ginobili.

Here is what the legendary Italian coach said:

On his career and the 29 titles he has won: “I do not deny that I would like to coach here in the NBA, but if that won’t happen, I’m serene about it. What I would like to continue to be able to choose, as I have done until today.”

On the differences between the EuroLeague and the NBA: “The level is high, being the second tournament in the world. Basically, there is the difference in economic power, even the big players in Europe cannot compete on certain figures even with middle-level NBA players.

In addition, there is the tendency of players to leave the Old Continent at a very young age, when they have the opportunity, while a few years ago there was more reservation about it.”

On Luka Doncic: “He’s phenomenal, especially mentally at this age. The only doubt is about his athleticism. But then again, we start from a phenomenal basis and I’m curious to see how he will balance the ability to do what he does best with what he will have to adapt to this new (to him) way of playing.”

On Gregg Popovich and Manu Ginobili: “It’s very simple, but not at all obvious, and applies to both: they take little seriously. They have such a status as to be a fundamental part of today’s “star system”, but instead they are extraordinary people and it is not easy to maintain that balance and profile.”