Monday, January 14th, 2013 at 11:50 am  |  18 responses

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.’”

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  • JML-G

    Grizzlies owners feel like huge savings is the actual victory in the NBA, thats why they will not only let Hollins go and trade Zach & Rudy, but also get rid of Gasol, Allen, Conley etc, so Memphis fans can save their money and we live in a perfect, expenses-free world

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Sanchez

    Sounds like this mgmt team is trying to take a cue from the 1997 Florida Marlins by trading away all the key pieces.. Great underdog team with great chemistry… Except they haven’t have won a championship yet.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    unless Lionel Hollins is going to pay the luxury tax out of his own pocket, he really should shut the f*ck up.

  • Redd

    The Grizzlies are hanging their hat on getting a top tier FA, it won’t happen though.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    no they aren’t. what are you talking about.

  • Redd

    They’re freeing up cap space for FA.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    no, they are freeing up cap space to not pay the luxury tax (right now they are $4Million over the Soft-Cap). — they would have to trade 3 of their main guys to have any money to pay a top tier free agent man.

  • spit hot fiyah

    they r stupid if they let hollins walk, he built this team up from scratch and took them from a perennial lottery team to one of the best in the west

  • Redd

    From everything they’re doing it alludes to them wanting to get room. (Zach being in trade discussions).

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    It’s not something to discuss. It’s public information they are going to be trading one of their big contract guys to avoid the luxury tax. I’m not speculating.

  • j

    and then fans are too pissed to even goto games anymore. great strategy!

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    He’s free to leave if they trade Rudy Gay and take a step back from being one of the top 4 teams in the West (which they will if they don’t get a player back who is as talented as Rudy is). I wouldn’t blame him if they do trade Rudy and become a worse team. He’ll find another job if he wants one pretty quickly. Good coach.

  • The Philosopher

    Next season. If not Carlesimo, or Nate McMillan.

    Leo Hollins.

  • Max

    Definitely, one of the best coaches in the NBA right now IMO.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Junior-Taylor/100003121138419 Junior Taylor

    Don’t know why but that was one of the funniest sh*t I have read from NBK. LOLs all around.

  • dwade flops so hard

    they should just keep them together a year or two more while they are playing so hot. these new owners can absolutely afford a year of lux tax, they are all insanely loaded. they should want to win, even if it costs each owner one sports car less a year.

  • Redd

    Yes i know, every article mentions the Luxury Tax situation, I know.

  • retrobat

    NBK is on point, here. Why would the Grizzlies try to save cap space
    for an FA? RG is ALREADY a max player. He may not be LeBron, but
    trading RG to make a run at another FA does not make sense AT ALL. They
    are trading to avoid the luxury tax.