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Grizzlies coach Hollins doesn’t sound like fan of Gay trade

Feb 1, 2013, 12:19 PM EDT

Memphis Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins works his team from the bench against the Oklahoma City Thunder in the second half of their NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City. Reuters

If Lionel Hollins is coaching the Memphis Grizzlies next season, I’ll be surprised.

He continues to say things that clearly can be taken at tweaks at management. Last month he had a rant against the trend of advanced statistics in the NBA, that right after new owner Robert Pera (an advanced math guy) hired a front office filled with stats guys including former ESPN analyst John Hollinger.

Now this. No coach likes it when one of his best players gets traded, but you say things that back the organization when you do. But Hollins said this, via the Oklahoman.

“When you have champagne taste, you can’t be on a beer budget. It’s a small market and I understand the economics of being in a small market. I’ve been with the Grizzlies for 11 years in Memphis. Rudy Gay has been a big part of our success. I’ve known him as a kid as a rookie coming in. He’s a big part of my success as a coach here and I feel I was a big part of his success and I wish him the best as he moves forward into the second chapter of his career.”

This falls in line with criticism in some corners about how the Grizzlies blew their chances at a title with this move.

First, I’d say at the top end they had a 5 percent chance at a title — with or without Gay they are not better than a healthy Oklahoma City. I don’t think they are better than the Clippers. Or Miami. I think it’s a toss-up with the Spurs (Memphis beat them a couple of years ago, but Tiago Splitter changes the size dynamic for San Antonio). So many things had to go just right for them to win a tittle it’s not funny.

The Grizzlies did not break up a super team — their offense was 23rd in the NBA in points per possession WITH Gay. It is not taking some huge leap back.

Forget it, I’m not going to go through it all again. Go read Tom Ziller of SBN’s post on this. He hit the nail on the head.

  1. kinggw - Feb 1, 2013 at 12:41 PM

    Sorry Kurt, this was a horrible deal for the Griz. The Grizzlies didnt break up a super team, but they did kill any chance they had at the title this season. Their offense was 23rd with Gay, but I dont think thats a reflection on him. The Grizzlies run a slow plodding offense that goes through Gasol and Randolph, they never really took advantage of Gay’s athleticism and they will miss it when they hit the playoffs. Gay isnt a top 10 player, but he is an all star caliber player who should be much more effective in a more uptempo system.

    You can make the argument that the Grizzlies got destroyed last night because they were shorthanded. I don’t believe that. The presence of Ed Davis and Tayshaun Prince isnt going to change that. Regardless what you think of Gay, he was the only Grizzly who could create their own shot when necessary. This trade made the Grizzlies even more offensively deficient. I don’t know how well this trade works out for the Raps, but salary cap implications aside, it was clearly a move backward for Memphis.

  2. 91devinhester23 - Feb 1, 2013 at 12:46 PM

    lol that article title

    • gotchangeforadollar - Feb 1, 2013 at 1:01 PM

      What’re you, 12?

      • deavn - Feb 1, 2013 at 2:52 PM

        Take the stick out of your a** man. It’s just a joke.

  3. genericcommenter - Feb 1, 2013 at 12:47 PM

    Well, we all known Rudy Gay isn’t that good. So the fact that Hollins can’t recognize talent might just mean he isn’t qualified to coach the team. If you give a coach good players, he needs to figure out the best way to play them.

  4. LPad - Feb 1, 2013 at 12:57 PM

    The Grizzles had a decent shot of going to the conference finals. During the last two years, they beat the Spurs in the playoffs once and took both the Clippers and Thunder to seven games. You may not think they are better than those teams, but they definitely used to be able to play with them. Rather than trying to improve the team to get them over the hump, they took a step back. Maybe Prince can still has enough left to play at an elite level, but if he can’t they took a significant step back.

    They can try to justify this trade via efficiency ratings, but those ratings aren’t perfect and do a disservice to players that are forced to create offense with the shot clock running down or play with players with significant offensive disabilities like a Tony Allen, which allows teams to double anytime they want.

  5. rj2323 - Feb 1, 2013 at 1:09 PM

    The grizzles are stupid they had a good roster that could have contended for a championship an they trade a big piece in Rudy gay. I hate owners that run teams like a business I love owners like mark Cuban that will open up his wallet an pay anything to get a chmapionship

  6. Mr. Wright 212 - Feb 1, 2013 at 1:25 PM

    Kurt doesn’t believe ANYONE can beat Miami, despite the Knicks already dismantling them in rather effortless fashion twice this year. And yes, regular season means something when it comes to MATCHUPS.

    • Kurt Helin - Feb 1, 2013 at 8:27 PM

      I wouldn’t say anyone. I think the Thunder can beat Miami in a series. But not New York, no.

  7. leearmon - Feb 1, 2013 at 1:59 PM

    While I love advanced stats, and agree that Rudy Gay is overpaid, I still think they should have gone “all in” this season and see where the chips fall. While you think the Clippers are better than the Grizz, I say Memphis would have rolled L.A.C. in a playoff series as the team was previously constructed. Remember, while the Clips are fun to watch, in a halfcourt setting they still have much to work on, and while it took the Clips 7 games to beat Memphis last season without a healthy Z-Bo and Darrell Arthur altogether, whose to say the L.A. would have the same success this year, or what if CP3 cant stay healthy? Obviously Memphis seems to have the Spurs number as their size forces Duncan to play hard on both ends of the floor all through the game, and we all remember two seasons ago what a wonderful 7 game series the Thunder and the Grizz had, and lets not act as if OKC is without issues as well. Bottom line Memphis had as good a shot as anyone to come out the West IMHO.

    Now back to the trade itself, Ed Davis is a intriguing piece, but lets all remember he was struggling to be consistent in Toronto. You have to really wonder why he was only averaging 24 minutes on a team like the Raptors who could use all of the front court help they can get. Davis reminds me of Anthony Randolph, Brandon Wright, and some of Javale McGee. Not how they play specifically as they all have somewhat different styles, but each of those guys have / had tons of promise, and plenty of execs made high picks, trades, moves etc to acquire them. But none of them lived up to the hype. Its clear Memphis is on the verge of blowing up their roster, theres no way they keep Z-Bo. Are we to believe that Davis is better than Zach? Doubt he’ll ever get there. He would have shown it on a night in and night out basis by now. Not to mention, advanced stats cant quantify things like locker room chemistry, do you think the guys in Memphis are happy now? This is a fascinating test on how advanced stats and typical “eyeball” test compare. Again I love that the NBA is moving forward with the analytics of the game but one bad move, like this one potentially is, could set things back.

  8. spthegr8 - Feb 1, 2013 at 2:21 PM

    Can you blame him. It could end up costing him his job. They traded away one of his BEST PLAYERS and got ( in the word’s of Jim Mora ) Diddley POOOOOO in return!! I’d be a lil salty too!! Just Saying!!!

  9. nygdriveforfive - Feb 1, 2013 at 3:51 PM

    Eddie D is not exactly didly poo. He will be a pleasant surprise and eventually take over for z bo.

    • spthegr8 - Feb 1, 2013 at 8:57 PM

      He is when they don’t need ANY more big men. He may be a solid player one day. But that’s speculation as of now. What we do know is that Rudy could play & their BAD offense. Just got worse!!!

  10. hodaghunter - Feb 1, 2013 at 4:50 PM

    Memphis does not play offensive basketball, they play a defensive game that really comes to center stage in the playoffs. People have been critical of the Celtics in the past for their offensive shortcomings but all the sudden they pushed Miami to 7 games and everyone was saying what a great defensive unit they were.
    Memphis had that type of intensity on defense where they only needed one guy to catch fire per game to win the games. The same stood for the playoffs.
    I posted earlier that they should’ve waited till the deadline, this trade was going to be there no matter what and they could have gotten so many better pieces for it…

  11. lyndseymarieee - Feb 1, 2013 at 7:31 PM


  12. fm31970 - Feb 2, 2013 at 3:48 AM

    John Hammond, did you read this?:

    “If Lionel Hollins is coaching the Memphis Grizzlies next season, I’ll be surprised.”

    Make it happen, please. The Bucks could use a classy, straight-shooter coach like Lionel Hollins.

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