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Former Memphis Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollis has agreed to take over the post vacated by Jason Kidd with the Brooklyn Nets.
The Nets issued a press release on Hollins, who is set to become the 19th head coach in NBA franchise history, on their official website:
“The Brooklyn Nets have reached an agreement in principle with Lionel Hollins to serve as the team’s new head coach, General Manager Billy King announced. Hollins will become the 19th head coach in the franchise’s NBA history.
“‘We are very excited to welcome Lionel as the new head coach of the Brooklyn Nets,’ said King. ‘He is a proven winner who will provide the franchise with stability and leadership going forward.’
“‘I want to thank the Nets ownership and Billy for this opportunity,’ said Hollins. ‘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.'”
“Lionel Hollins will be the Nets’ fourth coach in the last two years, emerging from a rapid search by GM Billy King following the Jason Kidd fiasco.
“The 60-year-old agreed to replace Kidd on Wednesday, just hours after Kidd was officially announced as coach of the Bucks. His four-year, $20 million deal is another financial commitment from Mikhail Prokhorov, considering the Hollins contract is worth more than the $2.6 million annually he was paying Kidd. The fourth year on his deal is a team option.
“At some point in the process the Nets reached out to check on the availability of Kevin Ollie, sources told the Daily News, but they were told he was remaining with the (Connecticut) Huskies. Ollie, who won the NCAA title with the Huskies this year, was also approached by the Cavaliers about their coaching positions this offseason, sources said.
“The Nets interviewed only one candidate besides Hollins, but GM Billy King declined to reveal the identity because that person wasn’t interested in the position. King, along with his associates in basketball operations, dined with Hollins on Monday night and met with him and Nets ownership again on Tuesday morning.
The Brooklyn Nets have reached an agreement in principle with Lionel Hollins to become the team’s new head coach.— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) July 2, 2014
“It was a quick process as the Nets wanted to cleanse themselves of Kidd and offer stability to free agents. The Nets lost out on free agent Shaun Livingston, who agreed to a deal with the (Golden State) Warriors on Tuesday night. They’re confident in re-signing Paul Pierce, and Kevin Garnett is also expected to return to a group that includes Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez.
“Hollins is a defensive-minded coach who took Memphis to the 2013 Western Conference Finals with a slow-paced post-up game featuring Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol. His contract was not renewed by the Grizzlies before last season and he waited out for another head coaching spot, landing in Brooklyn.
“He brings a 214-201 career coaching record to the Nets, along with the NBA championship he won as a player with the Trail Blazers in 1977.
“‘If you look at (his) track record and what he did in Memphis, he was able to go in there and take a team, added some veterans and they continually got better,’ King said on Tuesday. ‘He developed some young guys, Gasol, some bug guys. If you look at Memphis, theyg consistently got better every year. All the way to the Western Conference Finals.'”
Hollins told ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne he likes the Nets’ nucleus. He’s also thankful to be back coaching in the NBA:
Ex-Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins agrees to lead Brooklyn Nets t.co/US7fLsR7Xl
— memphissports 44 weeks 1 day ago.
“We have a nice nucleus to build with. We want to be better than last year, and obviously that’s going to take work. We’re going to work hard, be aggressive and we’re never going to quit.
“I’m humbled. The process to get back in the league was a long one. But I’m thankful to God because I believe this is the perfect fit for me.”
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