4) The team’s going to practice — a lot.
Hollins didn’t shy from his no-nonsense reputation.
“Practice, practice, practice,” he said, each word as clear as the last. “Repetition. We’re going to put them in stressful situations at practice; we’re going to push them and just try to get them to go beyond what you would normally do in a game. It’s no secret…can everybody be tougher? I think they can. How tough can they be? I have no idea. Maybe one or two guys can’t make any change, but that remains to be seen.”
The mantra about top-down toughness is overrated and cliche. But there is a key, tangible difference expressed within that differentiates Hollins from Kidd: Hollins emphasizes practice, while Kidd emphasized rest — or, at the very least, golf trips.
“I’ve heard that (Hollins) loves practice,” Joe Johnson said about his new coach. “And… Jason Kidd, I mean, we practiced, but…” Johnson paused, looked down at the floor, and grinned. “…Not really, man.”
Under Lionel Hollins, he’d better get used to it.