In the same radio interview with Peter Edmiston of WHBQ Sports that took an interesting turn for the worse, people have managed to overlook the silver lining – Lionel Hollins in no way wants out of Memphis. Or at least that’s what we can gather from the lighter side of his interview.
“I believe in Memphis. I love Memphis. I never had any intention of going anywhere. I don’t have any intention of going anywhere.” … “I don’t want to talk to any other teams. I want to be here. I told the media after our [Grizzlies] exit interviews that if the team offered me a contract that I felt was fair, I’d sign it the next day.”
“I thought everything was good. I was excited when I left. They indicated that they respected me and appreciated what I had done and that [they were] going to engage my agent in negotiations later on that evening. The next thing I know I’ve been given permission to talk to other teams.”
“I want to coach the Memphis Grizzlies, the team that the city has embraced and that has the potential to go further with a few tweaks and adjustments.”
Well, there it is. It’s hard not to feel for the guy. When you listen to the interview you can here it in his voice that this was totally expected; like he fully thought he would be returning one second and then he was being told the organization had formally granted the Nets permission to speak with him.
There’s obviously been a lot of criticism surrounding Hollins after his-less than-groundbreaking adjustments against the Spurs in the Western Conference Finals. But there’s something to be said for this team’s ascension under his leadership.
Nevertheless, it’s hard not to wonder if the relationship is simply to strained at this point to keep Hollins. Especially with assistant coach Dave Joerger waiting in the wings.
We’ll keep you posted.
Follow Joseph Nicks on twitter @josephnicks8.