Indiana Pacers associate head coach Brian Shaw and Memphis Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins are widely considered the two top targets for the Brooklyn Nets head coaching vacancy. But if a report from Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal is to be believed, the Nets may not even have a shot at the latter.
Coaching sources told Tillery that the Nets requested permission to speak with Lionel Hollins the day after the Memphis Grizzlies season ended, and were denied their request. They have not put in another known request to Memphis to speak with Hollins at this time. The Los Angeles Clippers requested permission to speak with Hollins yesterday, which was granted.
It’s possible that the Grizzlies felt they had a shot at retaining Hollins, who is still under contract with the Grizzlies until June 30th, and didn’t want to sully negotiations by letting Hollins speak with other teams. Indeed, the team and Hollins’s representation negotiated for a few days, before talks stalled over this past weekend. The Clippers reportedly requested permission to speak with Hollins after negotiations ceased.
Brooklyn has also had contact with former coaches Phil Jackson, Jeff Van Gundy, and Larry Brown, though none are considered a serious candidate for the job.
If the Nets feel that Hollins is a worthy enough candidate, I expect they’ll go down that road and request permission to speak with him again. But at this time, it appears that the only candidate they have an interview scheduled with is Shaw.