On Monday evening, the Memphis Grizzlies formally announced that they would not renew that contract of head coach Lionel Hollins.
On the heels of the Denver Nuggets‘ surprising decision to fire head coach George Karl, the Grizzlies’ choice is just as mind-boggling. Sure, the rumors had been swirling around Hollins and a potential return to Memphis and although the coach had publicly made things clear that he wanted to remain with the Grizzlies, the organization opted to let him interview elsewhere. On Monday, they officially cut ties with Hollins.
Sure, the Grizzlies may see a different direction for their organization and it’s clearly one that Hollins will not be apart of. However, Hollins took this Memphis team to new heights, most notably this past season. The Grizzlies are fresh off their best season in franchise history, advancing to the Western Conference Finals — why in the world would the Grizzlies opt to let their coach walk off after a season like that?
Hollins had prior stints with the organization, but he really took over the team prior to the 2008-09 season and in that span since, the Grizzlies have qualified for three consecutive playoff appearances. We are talking about an organization that has not been used to success in the past — Hollins took them to new heights.
Memphis is making a mistake by letting Hollins walk here. With that being said however, it’s a decision that has been made.
The Los Angeles Clippers and Brooklyn Nets are among the teams that are already interested in Hollins moving forward and maybe even the Philadelphia 76ers will stake a claim at his availability, considering they have barely shown any interest in naming a new coach since parting ways with Doug Collins two months ago.
Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS