May 26, 2018 / 1:34 PM / 5 months ago

Report: Toronto Raptors interview Messina, Udoka for coach job

The Toronto Raptors brought in San Antonio Spurs assistant coaches Ettore Messina and Ime Udoka to interview for their head-coaching opening on Thursday and Friday, respectively, according to a report from ESPN.

Basketball - Italy v Serbia - European Championships EuroBasket 2017 Quarter Finals - Istanbul, Turkey - September 13, 2017 - Coach Ettore Messina of Italy reacts. REUTERS/Osman Orsal - UP1ED9D1H7O7T

During their interviews, Messina and Udoka each spent the full day meeting with Raptors president Masai Ujiri and his staff, according to the report.

The Raptors have also interviewed internal candidates Nick Nurse, Rex Kalamian and G League coach Jerry Stackhouse, with Nurse viewed as the strongest choice of the three, according to the report.

Messina, 58, has previously interviewed for a head-coaching position with Charlotte and Milwaukee this spring. He has served as a Spurs assistant since 2014 after a successful career coaching international basketball, including the Italian national team.

Udoka, 40, also interviewed with Charlotte and Orlando. He has been a member of Gregg Popovich’s staff the past six seasons.

Dwane Casey was dismissed by the Raptors earlier this month after seven seasons and five consecutive playoff appearances with the team. The Raptors won a franchise-record 59 games this season to earn the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, but were swept by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the playoffs for the second consecutive season.

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