Lionel Hollins Stunned by Memphis, Wants To Stay

Lionel Hollins
Lionel Hollins (AP)
Lionel Hollins
Lionel Hollins doesn’t sound like he wants to leave Memphis. (AP)

After being granted permission to speak with other teams by the Memphis Grizzlies, Grizzlies head coach & Nets coaching candidate Lionel Hollins went on a tirade about the Grizzlies on First Call with Peter Edmiston on Sports 56 WHBQ/87.7 FM., simultaneously blasting his current/likely soon-to-be former team for preparing to move on and stressing that he wants to stay with them.

Some of Hollins’s quotes (h/t Memphis Commercial Appeal):

On Hollins’s current situation: “I don’t want to talk to any other teams. I want to be here. I told the media after our exit interviews that if the team offered me a contract that I felt was fair, I’d sign it the next day.”

On the possibility of assistant Dave Joerger replacing him in Memphis: “Why would you move a proven coach, who has shown what he can do to bring in an ‘upcoming superstar?’ To me, that’s ludicrous. …

“It’s puzzling when I hear comments like that. I love Dave Joerger. We have a great rapport. We’ve spent every summer, since I elevated him to my first assistant, talking philosophy and concepts.”

On Joerger’s reputation: “He wasn’t a defensive coach until I made him the defensive coach.”

On why he wants to stay: “I believe in Memphis. I love Memphis. I never had any intention of going anywhere. I don’t have any intention of going anywhere. I love Memphis. … Our business is very fickle. When you’re producing as a coach you get to stay. When you don’t produce, you have to leave. Bottom line.”

The Grizzlies are the only team Hollins has ever coached, having coached them in three separate stints.

It doesn’t sound like Hollins, who improved Memphis’s record in each of his five seasons in his most recent stint, is ready to interview with other teams just yet. Hollins had reportedly negotiated with Memphis since the team was swept by the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference Finals, but talks stalled over the weekend.

More: Memphis Commercial Appeal — Lionel Hollins: ‘I want to coach the Memphis Grizzlies’