Fresh off of firing Mark Jackson, the Golden State Warriors' search for a new head coach is fully underway. The latest report from Yahoo! Sports' Marc J. Spears indicates the team will meet with former Memphis Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins.
Lionel Hollins is expected to interview for Warriors head coach opening during the NBA pre-draft camp in Chicago next week, a source said.— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) May 10, 2014
Hollins had multiple stints with the Grizzlies, most recently manning the helm from 2009-2013. He helped turn the club into a defensive juggernaut that consistently played the West's best teams admirably.
CBS Sports' Matt Moore discusses the fit:
He would provide the Warriors a motivational leader who emphasizes defense and can relate to the players, a carryover from Jackson, but the offensive issues the Warriors strugged with likely wouldn't be solved through Hollins' inside-out approach. The Grizzlies' offense was low in efficiency nearly every year under Hollins, but their defense was often elite.
Hollins has also been linked to the Oregon State gig and could be in fairly high demand given the number of NBA coaching vacancies.
The San Francisco Chronicle's Rusty Simmons reports that the Warriors have already contacted Steve Kerr and Stan Van Gundy. Simmons adds a number of names to the list of likely candidates, including Tom Thibodeau, Mike D'Antoni, George Karl and Jerry Sloan.
With so many possibilities, you might expect that this could take a while. Per Simmons, owner Joe Lacob has suggested precisely that:
We're going to take our time in this process. We're going to interview a number of people. We have a very good idea of what we're interested in. But, to be sure and to do the appropriate job in looking for a coach, we will interview multiple people and make sure we're doing the right thing.
Some due diligence should reassure fans who are weary after Jackson's quick dismissal. Jackson was popular with Golden State players and earned plenty of respect league-wide for helping turn the team around during his three-year tenure.
Whoever winds up with the gig, the Warriors figure to once again be a prominent player in the West. With a talented young backcourt led by Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, this job appears to be one of the most attractive in the league.
While Kerr may be Golden State's preferred option, don't count Hollins out. At the moment, the New York Knicks are reportedly believed to be the favorites to land Kerr's services, according to ESPNNewYork.com's Ian Begley, so Golden State very well may have to explore Plan B and Plan C.