Lionel Hollins has been around the proverbial sports block a time or two as both a player and coach. He knows the deal.
It's a highly competitive results-based bottom line business.
The only question more popular than "What have you done for me lately?" is "What will you do for me next?"
What Hollins had most recently done is lead the Memphis Grizzlies to their first ever trip to the Western Conference Finals. He also increased the Grizzlies' win total for a fifth consecutive season.
|Season||Age||Lg||Tm||G||W||L||W-L%||W > .500||Finish||G||W||L||W-L%||Notes|
What's the root cause of all the tension in Memphis?
Hollins and VP of Basketball Operations John Hollinger, formerly an ESPN writer, have different viewpoints.
No matter how you slice it this makes absolutely no sense.
This isn't the first instance of strained relations between a coach and the front office. It won't be the last.
Sometimes differences need to be set aside for the greater good of winning. The man just led Memphis to the conference finals. Obviously he's doing something right.
Take the Indiana Pacers for example. This isn't a complete parallel but there are enough similarities to make a good comparison.
Yes, they had made it to conference finals before. They even made it to the finals back in 2000.
However, all of this was prior to Frank Vogel taking over. In 2011-12, his first full season, he led the Pacers to a 42-24 record in a lockout-shortened season. Last season, he improved to 49-32 and may have won 50 had a game with Boston not been cancelled due to the horrific bombings that ruined the Boston Marathon.
Wouldn't it be absurd if the Pacers were talking about parting ways with Vogel? He has an up-and-coming team that will challenge in the Eastern Conference for the next few years.
He just led his team to the final four of the NBA. So did Lionel Hollins.
Ron Higgins of The Commercial Appeal sums it up pretty well.
What Lionel did with what he had been given was a friggin miracle. Anyone who doesn’t realize that doesn’t know hoops.— Ron Higgins (@RonHigg) June 11, 2013
The Grizzlies need to be careful. Even the most stable teams are an injury or two away from a disastrous season (see the 1996-97 Spurs).
Memphis may be one or two "philosophical differences" away from reverting back to their Vancouver days before they know it.
All stats accurate as of 6/12/13. Coaching chart courtesy of basketball-reference.com