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Lionel Hollins expects he will be back as Grizzlies coach

May 10, 2013, 7:23 PM EDT

Lionel Hollins AP

Watching the way the Memphis Grizzlies are playing these playoffs, it’s hard to imagine anyone but Lionel Hollins on the bench with them.

But his contract is up this year. And the team’s new owner has put in a young, numbers-friendly group in the front office (remember, they hired John Hollinger from ESPN), while Hollins this season went on a mini-rant about he doesn’t buy into the NBA’s statistical revolution.

So while you see the places of possible friction, it is all working right now. And with that, Hollins told Ramona Shelburne of ESPN he expects to be back next season.

“The only conversations we’ve had is they said they wanted me back,” Hollins told ESPN. “After we lost the first two games to the Clippers, we had a friendly conversation about the series and how they just wanted me personally to know that regardless of what’s being said out there, this is how they felt.

“That was great.”

Hollins has been part of building what is going on in Memphis and he doesn’t want to leave that.

“There’s no question,” Hollins told ESPN, when asked if he hoped to be back with the Grizzlies after the season. “When you build something, you want to see it through to the fruition of it all.”

Sometimes a little old school and a little new school can work very well together.

Memphis is in a good position these playoffs — they are 1-1 against a Thunder team without Russell Westbrook. If Memphis advances they are a tough matchup for either the Spurs (the Grizzlies size help beat them in the playoffs a couple years ago) or Golden State (Mike Conley and Tony Allen would be the best defense Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson have seen these playoffs).

And a deep playoff run (plus teams like New Jersey waiting in the wings if he is available) gives Hollins some leverage when he does sit down with Memphis management after the season.

  1. lakerluver - May 10, 2013 at 7:33 PM

    Why wouldn’t he be back, he’s done a great job. I think he’s very under-rated as a coach.

  2. raidmagic - May 10, 2013 at 7:36 PM

    To not bring him back would be a bad mistake. That would haunt them for years to come.

  3. patfic15 - May 10, 2013 at 7:43 PM

    Hollins is a darn good coach. Perfect example for the young Griz. No way he’s not back. Guys has talent and can be a good role model for these young men.

  4. Ronnie James Casiño - May 10, 2013 at 8:12 PM

    Reblogged this on Ronnie James P. Casiño.

    • slowclyde86 - May 11, 2013 at 7:50 AM

      I just reblogged your reblog on “spammerssuckgoawayandnevercomeback”.

  5. jkrall920 - May 10, 2013 at 8:19 PM

    Please set him free!!! The Bucks will gladly take him back. Wait, nevermind, they aren’t that smart.

  6. saint1997 - May 10, 2013 at 8:43 PM

    Can’t understand why New Jersey are waiting in the wings for him, they don’t have a franchise anymore

  7. melkipershero - May 10, 2013 at 9:08 PM

    If they set Hollins free Grizzlies Nation will revolt.

  8. 00maltliquor - May 10, 2013 at 10:10 PM

    It wouldn’t surprise me considering what they did to Rudy Gay.

    • slowclyde86 - May 11, 2013 at 7:53 AM

      Are you serious? That move was brilliant. It dug them out from under a horrendous contract and freed up Connelly and Gasol to do what they are now doing.

      • 00maltliquor - May 11, 2013 at 12:59 PM

        Well, we’ll agree to disagree and let’s just see just how far this Grizzlies team goes then. I’m telling you, they are not better without Gay. I bet if they had him still they’d make it to the Finals this year.

      • Kurt Helin - May 11, 2013 at 1:13 PM

        Really? You saw their record, watched them play and still think that?

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