Feb 9, 2014, 3:30 PM EDT
Before the season tipped off — before the lineup challenges became glaring problems, before the coach frustrated the guys that are the future of the franchise — on paper the Detroit Pistons looked like a poor man’s Memphis Grizzlies. Big front line that should be a force defensively, team probably meant to play at a slow pace, lack of outside shooting — Detroit should have been the Memphis of the East.
So why not get the former Grizzlies’ coach?
Detroit fired Mo Cheeks as coach on Sunday and John Loyer is going to be the Pistons interim coach. But he is not expected to be the long-term answer.
Former Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins would be open to the job, he told Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com.
Free agent coach Lionel Hollins tells CSNNW.com “of course I’m interested” in the Detroit head coach gig, though he says he has not been contacted by them as of yet.
Hollins went on to say, “I’m interested and willing to listen to any NBA head coaching opportunities that become available.”
Hollins was let go by Memphis last summer. If Pistons GM Joe Dumars is looking for an old-school disciplinarian to take charge of that locker room — and he should be — not to mention a guy who has had success with a similar roster (he took the Grizzlies to the conference finals last season) Hollins makes a lot of sense.
Everybody seemed to think the same thing, as you can see from the tweets of Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports and Marc Stein of ESPN.
Detroit plans to let John Loyer coach the rest of season, league sources tells Yahoo Sports. Pistons won't be conducting a search now.—
Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) February 09, 2014
Lionel Hollins has taken over teams in midseason before. And Pistons said to be looking for someone w/an authoritative locker-room presence—
Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 09, 2014
Here is what I would read into Wojnarowski’s first tweet — this may not be Joe Dumars call to make. His GM seat has to be warm as he is the guy who brought in Josh Smith at $12 million a year to make an uncomfortable pairing with Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe. It was Dumars who got Brandon Jennings as the team’s point guard. It was Dumars that choose Cheeks to coach this group. If Dumars is let go after the season you want the new GM to be able to choose his coach.
Which means it may be after the season when the Pistons get serious about the coaching search, but whoever is making the call on the next Pistons coach likely will call Lionel Hollins. It should be a good fit.
And Hollins is interested.
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