The Brooklyn Nets named Lionel Hollins as their new Head Coach on Wednesday. General Manager Billy King knew who he wanted in the wake of the Jason Kidd fiasco, as Hollins was the only candidate he interviewed for the job. King turned a tough situation into something that the franchise can be proud of, as they brought in one of the best coaches in the sport, and a gentleman of the game.
King said, “We are very excited to welcome Lionel as the new head coach of the Brooklyn Nets. He is a proven winner who will provide the franchise with stability and leadership going forward.”
Hollins said, ““I want to thank the Nets ownership and Billy for this opportunity. It has been a long process to get back into the league, and I believe that Billy and I will have a very successful working relationship. Brooklyn has firmly established itself as a franchise that is committed to winning, and I eagerly look forward to becoming part of that culture and building on the success of the past two playoff appearances.”
Hollins becomes the 19th Head Coach in Nets history, and his deal will reportedly be for 4 years at $20 million, or $5 million per year, along the lines of what Steve Kerr got from the Warriors and Derek Fisher got from the Knicks. The difference is that Hollins brings a wealth of experience to the job, whereas Kerr and Fisher will be entering their first year as coaches.
Hollins had great success with the Memphis Grizzlies, leading the team to a franchise-record 56 wins and took them the Western Conference Finals in the 2012-13 season, which would be his last. The only reason Memphis let him got was they felt they could not afford him after the 2012-13 season. He did not coach last season.
Hollins became Grizzlies head coach midway through the 2008-09 season and led the Grizzlies to consecutive postseason appearances in his final three seasons as coach. In his four-plus season stint as head coach, Hollins compiled a record of 196-155, a .558 winning percentage.
Hollins has 20 years of coaching experience. The Las Vegas native was an original member of the Vancouver Grizzlies as an assistant coach, and was a staple on the sidelines for 10 of the club’s first 12 seasons, with one stint lasting from 1995 to 2000 and from 2002 to 2007. Hollins twice served as the Grizzlies’ interim head coach, when he guided Vancouver to an 18‐42 finish (.300) in 1999‐00, and again took over for four games in 2004‐05, following the resignation of Hubie Brown.
Overall, Hollins owns a career NBA coaching record of 214‐201 (.516). Prior to joining the Grizzlies spent seven years with the Phoenix Suns (1988‐95) as an assistant coach under Cotton Fitzsimmons and later Paul Westphal. He began his coaching career as an assistant at Arizona State in 1985 and served for part of the 2008-09 season as an assistant coach for the Milwaukee Bucks.
Hollins, a native of Las Vegas, played his college ball at Arizona State. Selected sixth overall in the first round of the 1975 NBA Draft by the Portland Trail Blazers, and he earned a spot on the 1976 All‐Rookie First Team. He won an NBA Championship as a starter for the Trail Blazers in 1977. A year later, he was an NBA All‐Star while also being named to the NBA’s All‐Defensive First Team.
Over 10 NBA seasons, Hollins averaged 11.6 points, 4.5 assists and 1.56 steals in 673 career games with the Trail Blazers, Philadelphia 76ers, San Diego Clippers, Detroit Pistons and Houston Rockets.