Josh Newman, SNYNets.com
A Nets coaching search that has been in something of a holding pattern since it began on May 5 may be getting a shot in the arm soon.
Yahoo! Sports reported on Sunday afternoon that the Memphis Grizzlies have given permission to head coach Lionel Hollins to speak with other teams after several days of contract talks stalled on Saturday night. According to Yahoo!, the two sides never discussed terms and years, ‘citing major philosophical differences as the main roadblock.
Hollins’ contract expires on June
30, and new management led by owner Robert Pera had hesitated to extend him. Hollins went 56-26 in this, his fifth full season at the helm. The Grizzlies were swept by the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference Finals and Hollins figured to a hot commodity coming off a big season with an expiring contract
Whether or not the Nets will look to woo Hollins remains to be seen. As of Sunday afternoon, Nets General Manager Billy King had not made contact with Hollins and according to Yahoo!, the Nets have not yet expressed any desire to meet with him.
Aside from Hollins, Indiana Pacers assistant coach Brian Shaw is thought to be at the top of King’s wishlist. Shaw, widely considered a top NBA assistant and ready for a shot at a head coaching position, will not take part in any interviews until the Pacers are finished playing.
The Pacers will play Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Monday evening at the Miami Heat. Should the Pacers win and advance to the NBA Finals, their season would extend to at least Game 4, which will be played on June 13. Game 7, obviously the last possible date the Pacers’ season could end, is slated for June 20.
King has already been turned down by Phil Jackson and Boston Celtics President Danny Ainge denied the Nets permission to speak to current Celtics head coach Doc Rivers about any potential interest. On Friday afternoon, news broke that the Nets had made preliminary contact with coaching free agent and ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy.
Josh Newman is SNYNets.com’s Field Reporter. Follow him on Twitter for up to the minute news and banter on all things related to the Brooklyn Nets and the NBA