Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins was confident heading into the playoffs that the team would bring him back for next season. Ironically, he became even more sure of keeping his job after the team went down 0-2 to the Clippers in the first round. That's when Hollins says Grizzlies management told him that they wanted him back as coach, reports Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com.
"The only conversations we've had is they said they wanted me back," Hollins said. "After we lost the first two games to the Clippers, we had a friendly conversation about the series and how they just wanted me personally to know that regardless of what's being said out there, this is how they felt."
Hollins is in the final year of his contract, and could be one of the most sought-after coaching free agents this summer. The Sixers have reportedly been keeping an eye on his status in Memphis, and he's been linked to the Nets as well. Hollins nonetheless says "there's no question" he'd prefer to remain with the Grizzlies.
The Grizzlies won the next four games to oust the Clippers after Hollins and the front office brass spoke, and as Memphis sits tied 1-1 with the Thunder in the second round, I'd be surprised to see Hollins go no matter what happens in the rest of the playoffs. The coach criticized the Rudy Gay trade soon after it occurred, but softened his stance later, calling his comments an emotional reaction to the swap.