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Grizzlies don’t renew Lionel Hollins’ contract

Jun 10, 2013, 10:16 PM EDT

Lionel Hollins AP

UPDATE 10:16 pm: The Grizzlies have made this official with a statement from the team.

“After a thorough internal process, which included conversations with Lionel and his representatives, we decided as an organization to move in a different direction,” Grizzlies CEO Jason Levien said in a statement. “On behalf of the Grizzlies organization I would like to thank Lionel for his service and hard work in helping this organization throughout his years in Vancouver and Memphis.”

7:18 pm: Lionel Hollins said he remained hopeful he could remain the Grizzlies’ coach, but that has long seemed like a longshot. Now, it seems this sticky situation has finally reached its conclusion.

Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal:

Hollins had the most wins (twice as many as second-place Mike Fratello), the second-best winning percentage (behind Fratello) and every playoff victory in franchise history. Even if the Grizzlies think they’re better off without a coach who openly criticizes the use of analytics and questions management’s mid-season trade of Rudy Gay for Tayshaun Prince and Ed Davis, replacing Hollins won’t be easy.

But with apologies to the Clippers, who I’ll dock slightly because Chris Paul will be a free agent this offseason and isn’t 100 percent to re-sign, the Grizzlies might have the most desirable opening on the market.

Memphis reached the conference finals this year, and Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol, Mike Conley and Prince are under contract for next season and only Randolph, with a player option following next season, can become a free agent before 2015. This is a stable team with a strong identity – though Hollins certainly played a role in establishing and maintaining it.

Then again, Grizzlies assistant Dave Joerger also helped mold this team, and they could promote him (he is the favorite to get the job). George Karl and Alvin Gentry are also reported candidates.

For Hollins, he won’t remain out of work long if he wants another job. The Nuggets, Clippers and Hawks Nets have all reportedly shown interest.

Both sides might end up better off in the long run, but it will take some careful maneuvering and a little luck. I do know the Grizzlies and Hollins found unprecedented success for both when they worked together.

  1. kwilcox5037 - Jun 10, 2013 at 8:22 PM

    Only good job out there is Clippers with their talent (Paul included)–everywhere else the team will lose and it’ll be a money grab-wont blame him though ——Clippers is the best basketball job—Don’t give me Nets- Bad conference and even worst division- Darin Williams is a good player-no Superstar—

  2. elbaker1 - Jun 10, 2013 at 9:18 PM

    My money is on Hollins not going to the Hawks.

    • asimonetti88 - Jun 10, 2013 at 11:38 PM

      Seeing as the Hawks already hired a head coach (Mike Budenholzer) that’s a pretty safe bet.

  3. adoombray - Jun 10, 2013 at 10:31 PM

    in before the obligatory Laker fan comment about how Fredo Buss should be speed dialing Hollins right now

  4. zickhead - Jun 10, 2013 at 10:51 PM

    Wow, stupid move by the Grizzles. Guarantee that Memphis will not make it back to the WCF next season.

  5. badintent - Jun 10, 2013 at 11:35 PM

    Not surprised to see Gizz do well with Hollins as Head Coach. He made the Vancouver Grizz almost play .500 ball for a while when he took over as head coach. Miracle of the Decade. Might be in his best interest to sit out a year, make $$ on TV and then pick the next plum coaching job that comes along.Wish him the best

    • asimonetti88 - Jun 10, 2013 at 11:40 PM

      there are some solid opportunities out there. Nuggets, Clippers, maybe even Nets.

      • badintent - Jun 10, 2013 at 11:44 PM

        He’s is not a superstar player coach. Does best with good solid players that work hard and work together. I think the Nuggets would be a great fit for him.

  6. louhudson23 - Jun 11, 2013 at 12:22 AM

    He needs to stay away from the Clips and the Nets…

  7. rushbacker - Jun 11, 2013 at 12:46 AM

    If Memphis doesn’t want him, Denver fans would happily welcome a coach who emphasizes defense, and runs a scheme that can actually win in the playoffs. I’d love to see him work with Ken Faried and JaVale McGee after the results he got with ZBo and Gasol.

    • rockingrhino - Jun 11, 2013 at 9:02 PM

      No one can help JaVale McGee.

  8. adoombray - Jun 11, 2013 at 2:45 AM

    you would have been laughed off the website if you had said that Marc Gasol would turn into the better Gasol brother. You would have been laughed off the internet if you said Zach Randolph would turn his career around. Tayshaun Prince looked cooked too and is now being mentioned as an asset. I disagree with the assessment that he is not a Superstar player coach: He is a coach who can create Superstars (Gasol is arguably the best center in the league, which, admittedly is more of a statement about center play in the new era, but still bears mentioning that Hollins deserves 100% credit for the guy taking the leap)

  9. aboogy123456 - Jun 11, 2013 at 9:24 AM

    After the way that Hollins handled the Rudy Gay trade and showed complete insubordination to the owners, this move should not be surprising at all.

  10. klownboy - Jun 11, 2013 at 9:54 AM

    The Grizzlies have to be the dumbest organization in all of sports.

  11. aboogy123456 - Jun 11, 2013 at 10:37 AM

    After the way that Hollins handled the Rudy Gay trade, this move should not be surprising at all.

  12. dexteruk - Jun 11, 2013 at 5:21 PM

    if doc goes id like to see hollins move to the celtics. defensive coach who in my mind is 2nd best coach behind thibs who we should of never let go to the bulls

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