Nets, Lionel Hollins agree to deal: Hollins to be the next head coach

Lionel Hollins
Lionel Hollins
Lionel Hollins (AP)

The Brooklyn Nets have reached an agreement in principle to a four-year deal with former Memphis Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins, the team officially announced today.

The team will have a press conference at 10:30 A.M. Monday, July 7th, at Barclays Center in Brooklyn to officially announce the hire.

“I want to thank the Nets ownership and Billy for this opportunity,” Hollins said in a statement prepared by the team. “It has been a long process to get back into the league, and I believe that Billy and I will have a very successful working relationship. Brooklyn has firmly established itself as a franchise that is committed to winning, and I eagerly look forward to becoming part of that culture and building on the success of the past two playoff appearances.”

Hollins coached at three separate stints with the Grizzlies franchise. He first coached the final 60 games of the 1999-2000 season, when the franchise was still in Vancouver, coached four games from an interim position in 2004-05, and then as their full-time coach from 2009-2013. The team’s record improved in each year Hollins was at the helm, including the two best won-loss percentages in their franchise history in 2011-12 (41-25) and 2012-13 (56-26). He left the team in 2013, citing “philosophical differences” with ownership. The Nets lightly pursued Hollins last season,

Prior to his time as the Grizzlies coach, Hollins played in the NBA for five teams, most notably the Portland Trail Blazers, from 1975-1985, averaging 11.6 points, 4.5 assists, and 2.4 rebounds in 673 career games, making one All-Star team. After his playing career, Hollins worked as an assistant coach for Arizona State University and the Phoenix Suns, as well as in between head coaching gigs in smaller professional leagues. He was also an assistant coach with the Milwaukee Bucks, former head coach Jason Kidd’s new team, in 2008-2009.