There have been a number of Gregg Popovich assistants who have gone on to head coaching jobs of their own and Ettore Messina could be next.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the Charlotte Hornets have received permission from the San Antonio Spurs to interview Messina for their vacancy.

A native of Catania, Italy, Messina is familiar with incoming Hornets general manager Mitch Kupchak from their time spent together with the Los Angeles Lakers when Messina worked under Mike Brown as a consultant in 2011.

The 58-year-old Messina has been with the Spurs since 2014 after a lengthy and distinguished coaching career in Europe with the likes of Benetton Treviso, Real Madrid and CSKA Moscow, as well as the Italian national team.

If confirmed as Hornets bench boss, Messina would become the first Italian-born coach in NBA history.

The Hornets are also expected to interview former Memphis Grizzlies head coach David Fizdale.

The team fired Steve Clifford last week after two seasons.