As Grizzlies window closes, Nets coaching window opens

Lionel Hollins, Jerryd Bayless

Lionel Hollins (left) may be the biggest free agent on the market. (AP)

As the curtain closed on the Memphis Grizzlies season last night, courtesy of a 93-86 game loss and 4-0 sweep at the hands of the San Antonio Spurs, a new window opened for the Brooklyn Nets. The Nets are expected to request an interview with Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins about their open coaching position, perhaps as early as today.

Hollins, who reportedly made $2.3 million this season, does not have a contract beyond this season with the Grizzlies. The Grizzlies can only deny other teams from interviewing Hollins until June 30. The Los Angeles Clippers and Milwaukee Bucks are also reportedly interested in Hollins, though the Nets and Clippers are considered the frontrunners.

Hollins would like to stay in Memphis. “I hope things get worked out quickly,” Hollins texted Yahoo! Sports’s Marc Spears after the game. “I love our team and the possibilities.”

Hollins is one of the coaches on Brooklyn’s list of candidates, which also includes Indiana Pacers assistant Brian Shaw. The Pacers are still in the playoffs, down 2-1 to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals. Because of the Pacers playoff run, the Nets will most likely wait on their final decision.

Hollins is considered an “old-school” coach, one that preaches feel and player development over analytics, though he does employ Dave Joerger as one of his assistants in Memphis. Joerger is one of the leaders in the analytic field. The Grizzlies also have famed ESPN analytics writer John Hollinger in their front office.

This is Hollins’s second stint with Memphis (the first lasted just four interim games), and they’ve increased their regular season winning percentage in each year Hollins has been at the helm. This year, the Grizzlies had the second-best defense in the league and the Defensive Player of the Year in Marc Gasol. Both Gasol and forward Zach Randolph explicitly told Spears that they want Hollins back next season, praising him as “the right fit” and “a great part of where (they) are today.”

Yahoo! Sports — Lionel Hollins’ future with Grizzlies uncertain

ESPN — Lionel Hollins sweepstakes starts now


  1. AS I HAVE STATED NUMEROUS TIMES ON THIS SITE- i have been informed that the primary focus on who is selected will be based on who can control wacky DWILL
    WHEN HE IS STABLE–this team jells
    when he looks like a problem child,things dont run smoothly

    therefore it seems like quiet Brian Shaw is NOT the primary choice–i assume that Hollins is who they are really after!!!

  2. Devin,

    i have repeatedly tried to no avail into not believing all that is reported!!

    the PERFECT example is what you have written:

    when Hollins is quoted as saying he wants to remain in Memphis—you really need to learn what this means——he is trying to create a bidding war to enhance his contract –i dont believe Memphis can financially meet what the Nets WILL OFFER HIM–

    for some naive reason,i assume–you actually believe what anyone is quoted as saying–i am sorry to give you a reality check –i would estimate between 1 and 10% of what you hear and read is accurate—to you basketball is a passion–unfortunately,you need to open your eyes–to
    most people in the basketball profession it is about the MONEY FIRST!!
    THEREFORE,Hollins will sign with the highest bidder—i have known coaches personally-although they earn a lot of money–they never know if they will be fired and end up as an assistant–thus, the attitude is to get AS MUCH AS YOU CAN NOW!!!!
    i read your columns but you seem to be writing from a fairytale perspective–i appreciate that but it just doesnt match the reality which i am sure you prefer to fairytales!!!