Former Memphis Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins was not retained by the team’s new ownership group, so he has been enjoying his time off with some recreational sports and relaxation. However, Collins has recently said that he hopes to return to coaching soon and he wants to prove that his success in Memphis was no fluke.
“I believe I’ve established myself as a head coach and I’d like another opportunity to show that [my success] wasn’t a fluke,” Hollins said, via ESPN. “I feel like I’ve proven I can take a young team and develop it, then sustain what I’ve done by what I did in the last five years in Memphis.”
Last season, Hollins led the Grizzlies to a franchise-record 56 wins and an appearance in the Western Conference Finals.
Hollins has been closely watching the Grizzlies this season and has reached out to injured star Marc Gasol, and his time off has rejuvenated him and made him eager and ready to return to the court.
“I think Marc [Gasol] said it best, ‘It was odd knowing — from his perspective — that I wasn’t going to be there,’ ” Hollins said. “And from my perspective, it was odd knowing that we weren’t going to add a few pieces and build on what we’d already established. We were at a level where we needed to add the right pieces in order for us to take another leap. So it was just odd not being there and planning and going through the whole process that we normally do every summer with our young players, starting with the draft and then summer league and then the workouts that we have all summer, with players coming in and out. You get away from that routine. …
“I was antsy when training camp started. But once they started playing, I was comfortable not being there. I get to watch a lot of basketball on TV. And now I’ve gotten to re-evaluate what I like to do and what I want to do.”
If there is a team out there struggling that would like an immediate boost on the coaching staff, they should reach out to Hollins and move quickly.
Hollins is one of the most impressive coaches that is currently available, so teams like the Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks should start paying close attention if their struggles on the court continue.