Former Nets coach Lionel Hollins told Mike Mazzeo of ESPN.com (ESPN Now link) that he received a call from former GM Billy King, who was reassigned today, telling him that he had been let go, but expressed gratitude nonetheless. Hollins, as Mazzeo points out, still has one and a half years left on his contract.
“I’m thankful to Billy and Mikhail [Prokhorov] and Dmitry [Razumov] for the opportunity to have coached the Nets,” Hollins told Mazzeo. “I’m disappointed to where it didn’t work out to where we didn’t have playoff success and fans weren’t celebrating in the streets of Brooklyn.”
Here is more news and reactions to Brooklyn’s decision to fire Hollins and reassign King:
- Nets assistant GM Frank Zanin will be retained, Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated reports (on Twitter). Zanin has been involved with most of the day-to-day team business, including trade talks, according to Mannix.
- Still, it’s unclear who would be answering the phones if a team called regarding trade talk, Tim Bontemps of the Washington Post hears after speaking with multiple sources (Twitter link).
- While the timing of the moves was surprising to some, considering how close the trade deadline is, some executives around the league were always surprised King was able to keep his job with Brooklyn for as long as he did, Ian Begley of ESPN.com passes along (on Twitter).
- Nets CEO Brett Yormark, who is reportedly enamored with John Calipari, is someone who is having his voice heard more now within the organization, Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News tweets.
- Tom Thibodeau would be an ideal fit as the next coach for the Nets because of his ability to maximize players’ talents on defense, Sean Deveney of the Sporting News writes in a list of top candidates to replace Hollins. Thibodeau is seen as a logical choice for other potential openings and will come at a hefty price, Deveney adds. Among other names Deveney mentions as top candidates are: Mark Jackson, Jeff Van Gundy and Patrick Ewing.
- Prokhorov did not like Hollins’ public criticism of players, NetsDaily tweets.
- Former Hawks GM Danny Ferry, who interviewed with the Nets before the job went to King, is still unemployed and has some baggage, but it’s worth noting his father, Bob, is a Nets scout, Bondy tweets.