Brooklyn Nets hire Lionel Hollins after ‘trading’ Jason Kidd to Milwaukee Bucks
By Clifford Davis
Jason Kidd was hired as the new Brooklyn Nets coach weeks after shooting bricks for the New York Knicks in the playoffs. He guided the Nets who had a payroll over $100 million this past season, to 44 wins and into the second round of the playoffs before being eliminated in five games by the Miami Heat.
Kidd did a very well job in his first year as head coach for a guy with no prior experience, apparently, he thought so as well. Sources say Kidd went to ownership and requested he holds a position above current GM Billy King. Once Kidd has rebuffed the Bucks swopped then and requested to interview Kidd for their head coaching position.
The Nets granted the interview for the Bucks who already had a coach under contract. The Nets and Bucks eventually agreed on a deal that sent Kidd to Milwaukee to be their coach and Brooklyn received two future draft picks.
“The organization’s got to be bigger than one person. If you sit there and say one person leaves and everything comes falling down, then you don’t have an organization,” said King.
Lionel Hollins was hired a few hours after the Bucks introduced Kidd as their new coach. The deal for Hollins is believed to be worth $20 million dollars for 4 years with a team option for the 4th year. Hollins will represent the Nets fourth coach in the last two years. His last coaching job was with the Memphis Grizzlies when he guided them to the Western Conference finals in 2013, then fired because he and ownership had different visions.
Before the Nets hired Kidd last year, they were hot on Lionel Hollins. Billy King thought Hollins was a perfect candidate but Kidd was hired because of his contributions to the franchise during his hall of fame career, and because it drew headlines, which owner Mikhail Prokhorov loves stealing from cross-town rival New York Knicks.
The decision to hire Hollins was an easy one for the Nets. They only interviewed one other candidate besides Hollins but GM Billy King did not mention who because the coach was not interested in the position. Lionel Hollins is a defensive minded coach who preaches discipline and toughness. He is an established coach who got better each year with the Memphis Grizzlies all the way up until they reached the Western Conference finals.
“If you look at track record and what he did in Memphis, he was able to go there and take a team, added some veterans and they continually got better,” King said. He developed some young guys, Gasol, some big guys. If you look at Memphis, they got consistently better every year. All the way to the Western Conference Finals.”
Lionel is 60 years old, he comes in with a record of 214-201 career coaching record, and he won an NBA championship in 1977. He was the guy Billy King originally wanted before they ultimately decided to go with Jason Kidd. Now King gets his man, who he hopes he can trust more than Kidd, who has proven he is only loyal to himself.
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