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Memphis Grizzlies won't renew Lionel Hollins' contract

June 10, 2013|By Ben Bolch
  • Lionel Hollins' contract will not be renewed by the Memphis Grizzlies despite taking the team to the Western Conference finals.
Lionel Hollins' contract will not be renewed by the Memphis Grizzlies… (Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images )

When Lionel Hollins interviews with the Clippers on Wednesday, he won't have to worry about whether a return to the Memphis Grizzlies remains a possibility.

The Grizzlies decided not to renew Hollins' contract, the Commercial Appeal in Memphis  reported Monday. Hollins just completed a season in which guided the team to the Western Conference finals for the first time in franchise history.

The coach was widely praised for galvanizing the Grizzlies after the midseason trade of Rudy Gay, the team's leading scorer.

But his departure appeared partially predicated on a shift in philosophy under new Memphis ownership, which is a big believer in the NBA's analytics movement. Hollins reportedly had a run-in with John Hollinger, the Grizzlies' vice president of basketball operations and one of the pioneers in analytical thinking, during a practice in the playoffs in which Hollins berated Hollinger when Hollinger engaged forward Austin Daye during a shooting drill.

Hollins' contract expired at the end of this month. Memphis finished the season 56-26 before beating the Clippers and Oklahoma City in the playoffs prior to a four-game sweep by San Antonio in the conference finals.

Hollins expressed shock when the Grizzlies recently engaged him in discussions about an extension, only to allow him to speak with other teams shortly thereafter. It was a prelude to a parting of the ways.

Hollins is also believed to be coveted by the Denver Nuggets for the coaching vacancy that was created last week when the team fired George Karl.


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