Is Lionel Hollins Frustrated With Memphis Grizzlies Management?
Memphis Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins didn’t come out and directly express frustration about his contract (which runs out at the end of this season), but a quick read of the tea leaves shows a man who is less-than-pleased with the current state of affairs in Memphis. Hollins is adamant about the team keeping Rudy Gay despite the persistent trade rumors, and he sounds unsure about his own future with the franchise. Per the Commercial Appeal: “If they want to break up the team and get rid of everybody, I’ll coach until the season is over and make up my mind about what I’m going to do,’ he said. Hollins went on to say he didn’t mean that to be ‘negative’ in any way. But the underlying message was clear: Yes, the Grizzlies have to figure out what they’re going to do with Gay. But they have to figure out what to do with their head coach, too. Do they want him to lead the team into the future? Do they plan to extend his contract, which runs out at the end of the year? If they plan to extend his contract, why hasn’t it been done already? It’s not like Hollins has a whole lot more to prove. [...] So what should we make of Hollins’s recent comments about his job status? Do they suggest a disconnect between the coach and new management? [...] First, there was a radio show in Miami with Dan Le Batard. Le Batard asked if Hollins had met Justin Timberlake, Peyton Manning and other members of the new ownership group. Hollins said he already knew Timberlake, but then he added this: ‘I have not really met (Robert) Pera. He was at our opening game and I tapped him on the shoulder and introduced myself, but we didn’t talk. It is what it is when it comes with changes of ownership. You go and you keep doing your job and either they like it or they don’t like it, or even if they like it, they may want to go in a different direction and you just have to be prepared for whatever.’ Again, the question was about celebrity owners. It wasn’t about Hollins’s future with the Griz. So something is clearly bothering him. It emerged again Friday in a series of interviews. In the morning, Hollins went on Ron Tillery’s radio show and said he’d like to keep the current team intact through the end of the year. He also downplayed the importance of advanced statistics, saying ‘We get hung up on statistics a little too much, and I think that’s a bad trait all over the league.’ [...] But then, at Friday’s media scrum, Hollins brought up his job security twice. He said that stuff about making up his mind about what to do at the end of the season. And he said, ‘If they’re going to break the team up and bring in some guys who aren’t as good, I think we need a five-year extension so we can go on a five-year plan.’”