Brooklyn Nets Hire Lionel Hollins to Replace Jason Kidd as CoachErik Matuszewski
Lionel Hollins will replace Jason Kidd as coach of the Brooklyn Nets, returning to the National Basketball Association after a one-year absence.
The Nets said yesterday that they had reached an agreement with Hollins, 60, who last coached the Memphis Grizzlies in 2008-2013. He wasn’t offered a new contract following the 2012-13 season, when the Grizzlies went a franchise-best 56-26.
Hollins joins Brooklyn a day after Kidd was hired as coach of the Milwaukee Bucks. Nets General Manager Billy King said the team planned to “go with experience” in replacing Kidd, who had a 44-38 record in his coaching debut last season.
“He is a proven winner who will provide the franchise with stability and leadership going forward,” King said of Hollins in a statement.
Hollins inherits a team that rebounded from a 10-21 start last season to make the postseason for the second straight year. The Nets knocked off the Toronto Raptors in the first round of the playoffs before losing to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
“It has been a long process to get back into the league, and I believe that Billy and I will have a very successful working relationship,” Hollins said. “Brooklyn has firmly established itself as a franchise that is committed to winning, and I eagerly look forward to becoming part of that culture and building on the success of the past two playoff appearances.”
Hollins made his head coaching debut in 1999 when the Grizzlies were in Vancouver, taking over on an interim basis after Brian Hill was fired, and had an 18-42 record. He also had a four-game stint as interim coach of the Grizzlies in 2005.
Taking over as Memphis’s full-time coach during the 2008-09 season, Hollins had a 196-155 record over the next five years. The Grizzlies made the playoffs each of his final three seasons and reached the Western Conference finals in 2013.
Hollins’s contract expired after the season and the Grizzlies opted to let him leave due to philosophical differences between the coach and front office, the Commercial Appeal of Memphis said at the time, citing people close to management.
The Nets received two future second-round draft picks from the Bucks in return for letting Kidd out of the remaining three seasons on his four-year, $10.5 million contract. Brooklyn didn’t disclose financial terms of Hollins’s contract. ESPN said they were discussing a four-year, $18 million deal.
Hollins was a guard for 10 seasons in the NBA from 1975-85 and had career averages of 11.6 points and 4.5 assists.