Lionel Hollins confirms he is not an ogre

Lionel Hollins
Lionel Hollins (AP)
Lionel Hollins
Lionel Hollins (AP)

In the wake of Jason Kidd’s departure, the Nets wanted to replace him with a motivator with coaching experience, who would hold players to a higher standard on the defensive end.

Enter Lionel Hollins.

ESPN spoke with Hollins at the team’s inaugural Brooklyn Nets basketball camp, getting a sharper sense of the 19th head coach in the franchise’s history and the fourth since the team moved to Brooklyn in the 2012-13 season.

Hollins made sure everyone knew the important stuff: he is not a human-eating beast of folklore.

“I don’t know what ‘old-school’ is,” Hollins responded when asked how he developed his coaching style. “When it comes to playing, it’s about a philosophy of trying to go out there and get our team to play as hard as they can and as well as they can and together as often as they can.”

“You’re trying to win the game,” he continues. “I mean, ‘old-school’ or ‘new-school,’ that’s what everybody’s goal is. Everybody has a personality of how they get it done. I tell people all the time, we have fun. I’m not an ogre, but I do have expectations of when we’re in the gym, we work. And if you’re gonna be in the gym, you work. And if you can’t, then there will be someone else there waiting for an opportunity. I don’t think that we can say that that’s any different from anybody else coaching.”

Hollins spoke at length about his coaching roots and preached patience about implementing a new system: “(A system’s) not something that you put in one day and then that’s it. It’s something that’s constantly evolving and growing. Defense grows and offense grows. You put in some plays, then you put in more plays. It’s on-going, and you just try to keep it growing and evolving.”

In three separate stints with the Memphis Grizzlies, Hollins’s team got better in the win column year after year, culminating in a franchise-best 56-26 record in 2012-13. The team let him go after that season, citing philosophical differences and hiring assistant Dave Joerger to take his place.

Full story below.

ESPN New York — How Lionel Hollins evolved into a coach