Credit: ZUMAPRESS.com - Scanpix
Credit ZUMAPRESS.com - Scanpix

After finishing the EuroLeague season in a playoff exit against the soon-to-be champions Anadolu Efes Istanbul, AX Armani Exchange Milan are preparing for a more competitive showing in the upcoming season.

Kevin Pangos

Kevin  Pangos
Team: CSKA Moscow
Position: PG
Age: 29
Height: 189 cm
Weight: 82 kg
Birth place: Canada

With the rumors surrounding the club and its agreements with Kevin Pangos and Johannes Voigtmann, Ettore Messina, the head coach of the team, gave a brief answer about the situation in a celebratory meeting in the BMW Milan dealership together with AC Milan's manager Stefano Pioli.

"We are watching, but we are very confident," Messina quickly told after receiving the question from one of the journalists.

After reports of the two sides - Pangos and Milan - reaching an agreement for a contract back in April, the current club of both Pangos and Voigtmann, CSKA Moscow, is reportedly pushing to sabotage the deals.

In instances where a multi-year contract is signed, the new club has to separately work out a buyout for the Russian club, as was recently done with Marius Grigonis. With the Pangos 2-year deal reaching a reported value of $6 million, the club expects to receive a hefty compensation.

Stefano Pioli & Ettore Messina
Stefano Pioli & Ettore Messina
Credit Corriere dello Sport

"Over the years I have learned to use technology and I have very good collaborators at it. But what scares me are the average stats. I want to know where those figures come from," Messina explained his method of evaluating players. "For example are they the same against the strongest teams or not? Even in the same game, it is one thing to do certain things in the first quarter and another is to do them in the quarter of a tight game."

"There are several statistics that indicate a trend such as the effectiveness of a player when he goes left or right. Players want to have this information, and now they expect it and know how to use it. But I personally believe a lot in gut decisions," the legendary coach told.

3-pointers this season

35%
9,0
Points made: 9,0
Accuracy: 35,0%
Place in standings: 8
Record max: 14
Record min: 3
Most made 3FGs: Devon Hall

Messina has reached the Final Four nine times and won four EuroLeague trophies throughout his coaching career. He's been a head coach since 1989. The methods of preparation for the games have changed drastically, the coach told.

"I consider myself lucky because I have four assistants and two video analysts. In 1989 when I started I was one and a half. Today a coach coordinates high-level specialists and then brings their opinions together to make technical and tactical decisions. The communication has also changed," Messina recalled.

"As an assistant, I used to cut games with the VHS and it took three hours. Now instead of having a meeting you send three clips via WhatsApp to a player and get a better result. So he doesn't even hear your voice," the legendary coach explained. "In San Antonio, Coach [Gregg] Popovich was frightened if he saw his players too many times. He preferred to have one less meeting, one less training, one less team dinner rather than run the risk of being seen too much. Everything has changed."

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