Memphis Grizzlies: Ed Pinckney Would Be a Phenomenal Replacement for Lionel Hollins

By Ryan Heckman


Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY

As the Memphis Grizzlies continue their search for the next head coach, a few names have appeared to be front runners for the job. While one of the biggest names in the conversation has been former Denver Nuggets coach George Karl, another intriguing prospect in the search has become known.

Ed Pinckney, currently an assistant for the Chicago Bulls, has merited some interest from the Grizzlies recently. On Thursday, the club was said to have interviewed Pinckney formally regarding the position.

Pinckney has a tremendous amount of experience in the game and prior to working with Tom Thibodeau and the Bulls he worked with the broadcast crew of the Philadelphia 76ers and also helped coach alongside Kevin McHale with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Even before his professional career he coached at Villanova as an assistant and helped them reach the Elite 8 in 2006.

Last season, of course, the Grizzlies were number one overall in points per game allowed at 89.3. The Bulls weren’t far behind at 92.9, thanks to both Thibodeau and Pinckney. In Chicago he has helped Joakim Noah transform into one of the more complete centers in the NBA, especially defensively. Noah made his first All-Star team last season thanks to his tenacious style of play.

Pinckney has also worked with developing swingman Jimmy Butler, a young and upcoming player in the league who is also a fantastic defender. Under Thibodeau and Pinckney, the team as a whole has improved greatly compared to the prior staff before they took over.

Coming into Memphis, Pinckney would be handed a very positive situation on a silver platter. He would only help to further develop what the Grizzlies have going for them. Already the NBA’s elite defensive club, they have nothing but upside with Pinckney as the new head man.

Ryan Heckman is a Senior NBA writer for also contributing to the NFL. Follow him on Twitter @ryanmheckman  or add him to your network on Google.

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