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

Feb 1, 2013, 12:19 PM EST

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.

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