Griz coach would like to stay put
Posted: Tuesday, June 4, 2013 7:00 pm
MEMPHIS (AP) — Lionel Hollins doesn’t want to talk to any other NBA teams and wants to continue coaching the Memphis Grizzlies.
Hollins said Monday on Sports 56 WHBQ-AM in Memphis he thought everything was good after a meeting with team owner Robert Pera and chief executive officer Jason Levien a few days ago, but then heard the Grizzlies had given him permission to talk to other teams.
“People need to know from my perspective that I don’t want to talk to any other teams,” Hollins said. “I want to be here. I told … the media after our exit interviews that if the team offered me a contract that I felt was fair, I’d sign it the next day.”
The Grizzlies declined to comment.
Hollins’ contract is up June 30.
He addressed a variety of topics in a 28-minute interview but spent most of his time publicly defending his case to remain in Memphis.
Hollins has been with this franchise since the start as an expansion team in Vancouver in 1995 and made the move to Memphis with his only absence a stint in 2008 and part of 2009 as an assistant with Milwaukee.
“I just want everyone to know in Memphis that I want to be here. I want to coach the Memphis Grizzlies, the team that the city has embraced and that has potential to go further with a few tweaks and adjustments,” Hollins said.
The winningest coach in franchise history, Hollins just led the Grizzlies to their first Western final only to be swept in four games.
That capped a franchise-record 56-26 season, and Hollins has led the Grizzlies to a better record each season since taking over as head coach in January 2009.
Hollins defended his ability to work with the team’s new management.
Pera took over the team in November, and Levien traded away leading scorer Rudy Gay on Jan. 30 in a money-saving move. Hollins said he was consulted about every move.
Published in The Messenger 6.4.13