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Ettore Messina will likely interview with the Hornets next week

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While timing depends on the playoffs, the Hornets are hoping to interview the Spurs assistant next week

NBA: Playoffs-Golden State Warriors at San Antonio Spurs Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Here’s a small but important update for you as we head into the weekend: The Charlotte Observer is reporting that the Hornets will interview head coaching candidate Ettore Messina next week, or as soon as the Spurs are eliminated from the playoffs:

The Charlotte Hornets will act quickly to interview San Antonio Spurs assistant Ettore Messina for their head-coaching opening, as soon as the Spurs season is complete.

A source familiar the situation said Messina will interview as early as the middle of next week, if the Spurs are eliminated by the Golden State Warriors by then.

Messina coached the Spurs last night, filling in as Greg Popovich mourns the death of his wife, Erin. The Spurs lost, putting them down 0-3 in the series and on the verge of elimination. Assuming there aren’t any hick-ups on the Warriors end, the reigning champs should sweep the series. That would then open the door for an interview with the Hornets.

There’s a couple of things to note here. Messina is one of at least two candidates who will interview for the job — the other being Jerry Stackhouse. David Fizdale was reportedly on the team’s short list as well, but no interview has been scheduled far as we know, and nothing has been reported since. It appears, given this new development, that Messina may be the team’s top choice. The news of the team’s interest broke before the Stackhouse news earlier this week, as has the news of when the interview will happen. While we can assume Stackhouse is in the running, Messina may in fact be the guy they want at this point.

So make of this what you will. Whether Messina is their top man, at least we know that the process is moving forward. If Messina and Stackhouse both end up interviewing next week, the Hornets could have a new coach by the end of April.