With the NBA season right around the corner (8 days to be exact), rankings and polls have been coming out left and right. Charley Rosen of Hoopshype has released his top NBA Head Coach polls and Lionel Hollins of the Memphis Grizzlies was ranked 12th overall.
For perspective, first overall is Gregg Poppovich of the San Antonio Spurs followed by Tom Thibodeau and Doc Rivers. At 11th ahead of Hollins is Detroit Pistons coach Lawrence Frank and at 13th is Sacramento Kings coach Keith Smart.
In the rankings, Rosen chose not to go into great detail on why he Hollins at 12th but stated “Solid in every respect. Diligent, knowledgeable, terrific motivator.” The reason is kind of piss-poor honestly as Hollins has picked this Memphis team up and made them a middle-of-the-pack team in the Western Conference. With proper reasoning Hollins could be placed within the top 10.
You can certainly argue that he’s the greatest coach in Memphis Grizzlies history going all the way back to when the team was in Vancouver. Of course former Grizz coach Hubie Brown comes to mind, but what Hollins has done to this franchise is nothing short of spectacular. He was the first coach in the team’s history to win a playoff game after going 0-12 from 2004-2006.
And what he’s gotten out of Mike Conley, Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol in the last three years may be more of an implication on how good of a coach Hollins is. But now that his team is a top-4 or 5 team in the Western Conference, the expectations for him to be better are here and it’s up to him to live them up.