Report: Warriors, Rockets Interested in Lionel Hollins as Associate Head Coach

Adam FromalNational NBA Featured ColumnistMay 31, 2014

MEMPHIS, TN - MAY 25:  Head coach Lionel Hollins of the Memphis Grizzlies reacts in the second half while taking on the San Antonio Spurs during Game Three of the Western Conference Finals of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at the FedExForum on May 25, 2013 in Memphis, Tennessee. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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Lionel Hollins may not be looking for work for too much longer. 

The former Memphis Grizzlies head coach has been targeted by a number of teams while the coaching carousel has been spinning around at full speed, and things are starting to become a bit more clear.

Here's Yahoo Sports' Marc J. Spears with the latest: 

So, what exactly is an associate head coach? 

It's not quite the top gig on the bench, but it's also not akin to being just any old assistant coach. Think of it as being the alpha dog among the assistant coaches, the man who's the first mate to the head coach's captaincy. 

Now the teams interested in Hollins are intriguing ones. 

First, the Houston Rockets. 

Remember, Hollins was fired partially because he wasn't able to come to terms with the prominence of analytics in the NBA. He clashed with the new-school management in Memphis, even shouting at John Hollinger when the former ESPN statistician dared to interrupt one of his practices. 

SAN ANTONIO, TX - MAY 21:  Head coach Lionel Hollins of the Memphis Grizzlies looks on against the San Antonio Spurs during Game Two of the Western Conference Finals of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center on May 21, 2013 in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO US
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He must be thought of as a damn good coach if Houston general manager Daryl Morey is thinking about bringing him onto the staff.

After all, the Rockets are quite far along in the analytics movement, and Morey is right at the center of it. He's a numbers guy through and through, and you can be sure he's well aware of Hollins' feelings toward math. 

As for the Golden State Warriors, they have a numbers nut too. Assistant general manager Kirk Lacob is right there with Morey in his penchant for analytics, but there's still an explanation for the Dubs' interest.

This move would likely be meant to provide Steve Kerr with a veteran at his side. By having that presence who's been around the block a few times, Kerr could feel much more confident and have the ability to delegate some of the responsibilities he isn't prepared for. 

It's something Kerr himself has said he desires, after all. 

Plus, as Bleacher Report's Dan Favale points out, Hollins has a certain knack for bringing chemistry wherever he goes: "Those Grizzlies of the last half-decade would have followed Hollins into hell if he asked." 

Golden State prided itself on its chemistry during the Mark Jackson era, and Hollins would be a nice way to continue that on into the Kerr regime.

Additionally, the defensive boost wouldn't hurt either, as the front office looks to maintain the point-preventing prowess that M-Jax brought to the table throughout his tenure. If Hollins proved anything in his last gig, it was that he could get his team to lock down on defense. 

Maybe the former Grizzlies leader is done as a head coach.

He's still not lacking for quality job opportunities, if this Spears report is any indication.