Per the Los Angeles Times,
Though Memphis Coach Lionel Hollins said he was stunned that the Grizzlies had granted him permission to speak with other teams, his representatives Monday began seeking a job for him by calling the Clippers, according to two NBA executives who were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.
Hollins and his agent, Warren LeGarie, wanted Clippers officials to know that Hollins is interested in their opening, one executive said. They were waiting for the Clippers’ front office to hear back from owner Donald Sterling before any decisions could be made, the executive said.
If you’re unaware of what’s gong on with Lionel Hollins and the Memphis Grizzlies here’s a little play by play to catch you up:
- Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals, Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling was reportedly in San Antonio to scout Griz coach Lionel Hollins.
- Pundits around Memphis suspect that Lionel Hollins isn’t returning due to issues with management, not wanthing either Tony Allen/Zach Randolph back, and other matters.
- Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports the Memphis Grizzlies will allow other teams to speak with Lionel Hollins as his contract is up come the summer.
Woj’s piece also noted that the Grizzlies and Lionel Hollins have spoken, but discussions stopped between the two due to “major philosophical differences”. He also shed light on a verbal altercation between Hollins and John Hollinger:
During the Grizzlies’ playoff run, tensions turned to a confrontation when Hollins exploded during a practice session upon finding Hollinger had walked onto the practice court and engaged forward Austin Daye during a shooting drill, multiple sources told Yahoo! Sports.
With the team watching – and with a motive to show his players that he was completely in charge on the floor, sources said – Hollins loudly questioned Hollinger about what he was doing, and why he believed it was appropriate for a management official to intrude on what’s considered sacred territory for a coach and team, sources said.
The talks in Memphis are that Jason Levien and company are very high on assistant coach David Joerger and aren’t compeltley fine with letting him walking away from the team.
So where does this leave Hollins who has reported interest from the Clippers and Brooklyn Nets? Still wanting to coach in Memphis:
“I believe in Memphis. I love Memphis,” Hollins said in an interview with Sports 56 WHBQ in Memphis. “I never had any intention of going anywhere. I don’t have any intention of going anywhere.”
“I thought everything was good. I was excited when I left. They indicated that they respected me and appreciated what I had done and that [they were] going to engage my agent in negotiations later on that evening. The next thing I know I’ve been given permission to talk to other teams,” he said.
“I want to coach the Memphis Grizzlies, the team that the city has embraced and that has the potential to go further with a few tweaks and adjustments,” Hollins said.
via Lionel Hollins: ‘I love Memphis’ - ESPN
If the Griz let Hollins walk they have their successor in Joerger. As for the Clipers, there’s no clear front-runner for the head coaching job though the names Brian Shaw and Hollins stick out. And lasty in Hollins, no one really knows. Brooklyn seems like the most likely destination, but at this point it’s hard to tell.