Nets met with Lionel Hollins Monday night, will again today

Lionel Hollins, Jerryd Bayless
Lionel Hollins (AP)
Lionel Hollins (AP)
Lionel Hollins (AP)

The Nets front office met with head coaching candidate Lionel Hollins Monday night, general manager Billy King said Tuesday morning, and have plans to meet him again this afternoon.

“Lionel, myself, (assistant general managers) Bobby (Marks) and Frank (Zanin),” King said. “We’re gonna meet again this morning and reevaluate where we are from there.”

Hollins has reportedly been a top candidate since the Nets knew Kidd was leaving. Hollins improved the Memphis Grizzlies’ record in each of six full seasons with the franchise before being let go at the end of the 2012-13 season. He was also a candidate for the position last season, before the Nets decided on Kidd as their head coach in June.

The Nets want a coach with experience after their issues with Kidd, who entered the coaching ranks just nine days after retiring as a player. The experience can be in the college or NBA ranks. Hollins worked as an assistant from 1985 to 1995, first in college with Arizona State and later with the Phoenix Suns, before taking the Grizzlies job in three separate stints. He also worked with the Milwaukee Bucks, Kidd’s new team, as an assistant from 2008-2009.

“If you look at track record and what he did in Memphis, he was able to go in there and take a team, added some veterans and they continually got better,” King said of Hollins. “He developed some young guys, Gasol, some bug guys. If you look at Memphis, they got consistently got better every year. All the way to the Western Conference Finals.”

It’s not a done deal yet: though he wants the process done soon, it’s still a process, as the former coach might say. “All the names you can throw out there, that you guys are all speculating, put them all out there and they’re candidates,” King said.

“There’s already somebody I talked to that decided they weren’t going to come,” King added, without naming that person.