Remember the Nets head coaching search? Yea, it’s still ongoing.
A few of the names that have surfaced as being potential successors to P.J. Carlesimo—Lionel Hollins and his assistant Dave Joerger—saw their season end on Monday night when the San Antonio Spurs completed a 4-0 sweep of the Memphis Grizzlies. The Spurs have won the Western Conference and await the winner of the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers.
But what’s more relevant to Nets fans is what impact Hollins’ season-ending loss on Monday night will have on the franchise’s future.
The short answer is “maybe none.”
Lionel Hollins is the most successful head coach in Grizzlies franchise history, having compiled a 183-129 record in his four full seasons as the team’s top man and leading the team to their deepest playoff runs in franchise history.
Despite his success, Hollins has not been offered a contract extension by the Grizzlies. That led to speculation that Hollins may be pushed out, and the 4-0 sweep probably has not helped his cause. Earlier this season, the Los Angeles Clippers decided not to renew Vinny Del Negro’s contract, despite leading the Clippers to a 56-26 regular season and the franchise’s first ever Pacific Division title this past season.
In the world of head coaches, it’s all about what you’ve done lately.
Still, Hollins, according to Peter Edmiston of the Memphis Commercial Appeal, doesn’t expect to be elsewhere next season.
I asked Lionel Hollins if he expected to be granted permission to speak to other teams. His response: "No."—
Peter Edmiston (@peteredmiston) May 28, 2013
Technically, Hollins will not become a free agent until July 1, and he also told Edmiston that he “hopes” to remain in Memphis. But after trading Rudy Gay, mostly for financial reasons, there is some speculation that the Grizzlies may be inclined to let Hollins walk, rather than give him a sizable raise.
If Hollins is not renewed by the Grizzlies, the Clippers, Nets and Milwaukee Bucks are amongst the teams said to have interest in him.
Though, it is worth noting that the Nets have been said to be interested in just about every free agent coach on the market. Still, of them, Hollins seems to be in much higher demand than some of the other names we have heard linked to Brooklyn, including the Indiana Pacers’ Brian Shaw and Brooklyn-born former head NBA coach Mike Dunleavy, Sr.
There is still a lot to be determined here, and for sure, we are just beginning.
(H/T to Tom Lorenzo of NetsDaily)