Quantcast
Wednesday, October 27th, 2010 at 11:00 am  |  43 responses

How Lionel Hollins Stood Up to Allen Iverson in Memphis

The Commercial Appeal tells a fascinating story of how the Grizzlies’ head coach cemented his leadership of the team last season, by refusing to back down from the now Turkey-bound A.I.: “The Grizzlies were mired in losing and Allen Iverson — having missed a training camp during which Hollins preached a philosophy of one team, one goal — was upset about playing off the bench. Suddenly, the Griz had to deal with one big ego, one major problem. So on Nov. 5, 2009, Hollins asked everyone in a Los Angeles gym to leave practice. That included visitors such as former Griz president Jerry West. Hollins then got something off his chest. In front of the team, Hollins demanded that Iverson conform to the team’s philosophy, understand his role and respect his teammates. Several key players say it was an essential move by Hollins, for the sake of the team. ‘Last year, it was boiling under the surface. It was boiling over the pot in the locker room,’ said Hollins. ‘It wasn’t as noticeable as far as the media, and this was even before A.I. played. When it became necessary, I confronted the situation. And players recognize when something isn’t right and nothing is being done about it. The team was waiting on me to be the leader. So I spoke up. Things broke loose and the team galvanized behind the decision that I made to speak up at that point. They were like, ‘OK, this is how he is, and he did it with one of the greatest players ever. We can believe.’ It just worked out that way. It’s not something I tried to do.’”

  • Add a Comment
  • Share
  • RSS

Tags: , ,

  • http://twitter.com/flavaklav Klav

    impressive.

  • http://www.slamonline.com J

    ^ indeed.

  • Zabba

    He deserves it, Iverson, and he’s one of my favorite players. Ditching training camp? Get out of here.

  • http://www.twitter.com/JoshElam JE

    am I the only one that notices it doesn’t say how he stood up to Allen Iverson in Memphis?

  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    Good for Coach Hollins…

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    He made the right decision. AI should have played his role. He missed all of training camp and the preaseason and thought he should just come back and start. If he would have just played the good soldier, everyone would have seen immediately that he deserved Mike Conley’s minutes. Instead, he went left, and got dropped.

  • http://twitter.com/HarryByrdMan44 LA Huey

    Can’t wait to see what the die-hard AI fans say.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    You just saw what I wrote didn’t you?

  • IHaveADream

    Memphis will never be a contender anyway. AI should have never signed with them. Superstar players have a hard time dealing with the fact that they aren’t superstars anymore. Looks like that bug bit AI. It’s still ridiculous that he can’t find a job anywhere in the League and he has to go to Turkey to play. I would rather see him retire. He’s a Hall of Famer without a question either way, but still…he belongs in the NBA. He’s not Stephon “I’m the best point guard in the league” Marbury. I want to hear from AI. It’s time he say something. I’m sick of quotes from Gary Moore.

  • riggs

    he was always full of himself, glad to read this.

  • Love4Humanity

    @IHaveADream

    Memphis wouold be about 5th in the Eastern conference RIGHT NOW. How will they never be a contender

  • ab40

    come on nique did the same. went overseas and played his career out in the nba. I hope AI does the same. Because truthfully even if dj augistin reaches his full potential he still isn’t as good as AI is today.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Bad decisions lead to mass collisions

  • thomas

    Who da f**k do you think you are Lionel Hollins?

    He is Allen Iverson. F**k u

  • http://www.slamonline.com Wayno

    Glad to see that coach Hollins had the balls to do that. I wish Michael Curry would have stuck to his guns in Detroit for both he and Richard Hamilton. I thought that team could have been ok with a focused AI. Too much flip-flopping and caving in by the coach though. No rotation consistency…just a mess.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/ niQ

    Good Move.

  • ClydeSays

    Not sure if the Griz will contend, but Mayo/Rudy/Gasol is a decent core. Why Chris Wallace thought AI would work on a young team and be willing to come of the bench is anyone’s guess. If they just wanted a name to sell tickets fine, but the name has to be willing to uh, you know, actually play basketball…

  • Hammer

    I guess the question is people what EXACTLY went down? HOW did lionel confront AI? It just says that he did so,but how exactly? Did he bash AI n front of the team? Had coach and AI had squabbles prior 2 that confrontation and,if so, how was it handled by coach? Did he even show respect towards AI n doin so? Cuz a hofamer like AI deserves sum amount of respect from his coach. We ALL know bout AI and practice so that’s not a surprise. And a player like AI’s caliber SHOULD b starting,NOT coming off no bench. And coach as well as the org should have known this. And on a sidenote,its a DAM shame that AI isn’t n the L

  • markymark

    Lionel who???

    And what happened to them last year? Oh yea, they missed the playoffs.

    Do you guys really think that short article is the FULL STORY behind everything?

  • Hammer

    And what’s up w/this “demanding” crap from coach? Cuz if some1 started 2 “demand” crap from me that I didn’t know, I would b like “F u”. “U don’t know me and I don’t know u”. And I’m sure a lot of people here would do likewise. Cuz its disrespectful,even if it was ur boss. There r ways 2 talk 2 people and 2 get ur point across. And 2 “demand” a hofamer that is a diss. Just a lot of questions that were left unanswered from this piece. So people,get ALL the facts n B4 u say “good move coach” or “impressive”. Cuz we don’t know exactly what went down

  • Hammer

    Thank u marky mark. Right on point. Some people can b naïve and believe anything

  • IHaveADream

    @Love4Humanity
    Because they’re not in the Eastern Conference lol. The West is too deep and will be for the foreseeable future.

  • raptor87

    @markymark

    Lionel Hollins was an all-star in the 77-78 season…he isn’t just a nobody.

  • http://www.need4sheed.com Tarzan Cooper

    Where is anna? Where is anna? O thats right anna is in chicken or some other poultry. Bye anna.

  • Hammer

    @raptor87. I’m pretty sure what marky meant was that who is lionel as a coach. Who,n fact,IS a nobody. He needed 2 prove HIMSELF 1st b4 getting on AI

  • raptor87

    I know, but his comment reeked of disrespect.

  • barnabusb

    Cosign, Wayno.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    I woulda done the same thing. “I don’t give a sh*t who you are, I’m the coach”! Those of y’all that have a problem with authority, don’t ever join the military, you’ll be eaten alive. TRUST.

  • markymark

    no disrespect man. just annoyed that the story is pretty much one sided. like it was written by lionel’s pr dude or something.

  • Hammer

    @egnimatic. Ur right. And that is why I wouldn’t join the military,among other reasons. I respect those who have been and r n the military. Cuz I couldn’t take that kind of s**t of being barked @. That’s 4 dam sure. But that’s just me. 2 each their own perogrative and I respect it. But,like I said,we don’t know the full story. Story raises a lot of questions. Its all coaches side. And even if we hear AI’s side,its all “he said/she said”. My pont is,don’t b patting coach on the back just yet,which a lot of people here seem 2 b doin

  • http://www.slamonline.com J

    Hollins is the coach. It says there that when he confronted A.I. it is only with the team and not when there’s media or everyone around so I think that is a respectful move. So who are you guys to say that he disrespected A.I.? Fact is Iverson was the first disrespectful one by not showing in training camp. Hall of Famer or not he is a PRO first. He didn’t show professionalism and that doesn’t yield respect even for a guy like him. And where’s the diss in demanding a HOF’er to buy into team philosophy? So if your boss demanded you to work harder for the sake of the company then its a diss to you because he doesn’t know you and you’re a top caliber employee? WTF.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Fair enough, Hammer. And cosign J.

  • http://www.slamonline.com J

    Hollins did what he had to. You are a coach. You don’t have to be Phil Jax right away to be respected. Even Phil started as a Lionel Hollins.. as a nobody. Hollins did one move parallel in the likes of Phil.. And I think there’s no disrespect in the way Hollins handled it..

  • http://twitter.com/HarryByrdMan44 LA Huey

    @Allenp, not my fault this time. check the timestamp =P

  • http://theurbangriot.com The Nupe

    So, what did he do/say? It started to boil over before AI even played. Doesn’t seem like he took on AI as much as the entire team. Frankly, AI should have started over Conley, and if Hollins way of showing he was ‘boss’ was to continue to play Conley and sit AI, then that was just bad for the team. They have a better than average core and if they don’t make a run at the playoffs, then Hollins days as coach are near over.

  • Hammer

    @j. I get ur point. U do have a valid argument. My point is tho,everybody knows that when u put AI on the court,he is probably the most hard working lil man out there. He plays his heart out. He’s gonna give u everything he has. Every1 knows this and I’m sure lionel knew as well. So what was the big deal bout anyway? Like I said,we all know bout AI and practice. I mean c’mon. If larry brown couldn’t get AI 2 do it,how n world was lionel gonna do it. He’s been like that his whole career…And I shouldve said earlier that lionel demanding and calling out AI n front of the team was a diss. How would u feel if ur boss did that 2 u n front of ur co-workers? I bet u would b pissed. That’s what I meant 2 say

  • http://www.slamonline.com Pardeep

    This is so biased its the Memphis media writing it, its way to one sided. First of all Iverson was hurt in training camp that is why he missed it due to a hamstring injury, and then yeah Iverson should have been patient but he must have been frekin out here he is trying to ressurect his career after a nasty year in Detroit and all of a sudden hes sitting behind Mike frikin Conley! like wtf? and then wen he complains the coach calls him out infront of the team, theres only about 3 or 4 guys who accomplished more then AI individually in the league who are still playing and Hollins is dissing him like that infront of the damn Grizzlies? Thats why AI must have left and Hollins trying to prove hes boss by using AI as an example is just dumb

  • http://www.slamonline.com Pardeep

    This is so biased its the Memphis media writing it, its way to one sided. First of all Iverson was hurt in training camp that is why he missed it due to a hamstring injury, and then yeah Iverson should have been patient but he must have been frekin out here he is trying to ressurect his career after a nasty year in Detroit and all of a sudden hes sitting behind Mike frikin Conley! like wtf? and then wen he complains the coach calls him out infront of the team, theres only about 3 or 4 guys who accomplished more then AI individually in the league who are still playing and Hollins is dissing him like that infront of the damn Grizzlies? Thats why AI must have left and Hollins trying to prove hes boss by using AI as an example is just dumb

  • http://www.slamonline.com J

    @ Hammer- I may be pissed at first. Embarrased absolutely. But that would just fuel me.. that’s just me. I’ll take criticism and turn the table around prove them wrong. Maybe it would do good to me if I adjust something especially if I’m trying to redeem my career.. If my boss is calling me out TO WORK WITH THE OTHERS for the COMPANY’s sake, hey why not? He’s my boss for a reason. Maybe he new something I don’t. He might be new to the job but if we could work it out that’s success for both of us.. But Iverson didn’t. He’s given a chance but he blew it because he won’t ADJUST for no one. Adjusting doesn’t mean changing all of yourself. It’s just tweaking something. What happened when Brown was callin him out in Philly and he adjusted? Yes, NBA finals. What might happen if he practiced, and fit into the philosophy? Conley might now be his backup PG for Memphis.

  • #3JJ#3

    Who the hell does this nobody coach think he is? Oh yea your such a good tough coach for standing up for yourself haha that just makes you pathetic that you have to go around saying sh#t like that to bring up your nobody status which just made it go even lower. Also if AI wants to miss training camp guess what he can hes earned it! He is the only player on that weak underachieving team that would give 110% night in and night out. After all his body has taken i think its a nobody coach trying to make a name for himself which he did ” A Little B*tch” trying to take power of a team that will never respect him. nuff said

  • #3JJ#3

    hahaha wow hadnt read the last part….. does anyone really believe any of this bs??? “The team was waiting on me to be the leader. So I spoke up. Things broke loose and the team galvanized behind the decision that I made to speak up at that point. They were like, ‘OK, this is how he is, and he did it with one of the greatest players ever. We can believe.’ It just worked out that way. It’s not something I tried to do.’” lmfaoooooooo sureee they wereeeeee and im sure they didddddd hahahahahahahaah what an idiot.

  • markymark

    lionel hollins + michael curry = 1/10th of larry brown’s brain

  • Joey, Manila Phils.

    lionel hollins + michael curry = 1/10th of larry brown’s brain ====NO BRAIN AT ALL.

Advertisement