The Milwaukee Bucks appear to be on the next stage of their hiring process for a new head coach.
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Bucks ownership will meet with former Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer and Spurs assistant Ettore Messina about their vacant head coaching position.
There was no initial word on whether the two of them were the only candidates that garnered a second interview.
Budenholzer was at the helm of the Atlanta Hawks for five seasons, from 2013-18. He was NBA Coach of the Year in 2014-15, but was fired after a 24-58 season this year.
Messina, originally from Italy, has been an assistant with the Spurs under Greg Popovich since 2014. He filled in as head coach for Popovich during the 2018 playoffs after the death of Popovich's wife.
He has been a head coach with four teams in Europe (Benetton Treviso, CSKA Moscow, Real Madrid and Virtus Bologna) along with being a consultant for the L.A. Lakers. He has also coached the Italian national team in international play.
Many other names have surfaced as potential coaches, and the Bucks have interviewed some of them. Among the names:
- David Blatt
- Steve Clifford
- Becky Hammon, the first woman to ever be interviewed for an NBA job
- Joe Prunty, the interim coach for the second half of 2017-18
- Monty Williams