The Brooklyn Nets have reached an agreement in principle with Lionel Hollins to serve as the team’s new head coach, General Manager Billy King announced. Hollins will become the 19th head coach in the franchise’s NBA history.
“We are very excited to welcome Lionel as the new head coach of the Brooklyn Nets,” said King. “He is a proven winner who will provide the franchise with stability and leadership going forward.”
“I want to thank the Nets ownership and Billy for this opportunity,” said Hollins. “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. 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.”
A veteran of over 20 years of NBA coaching experience, Hollins most recently served as head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies in 2012-13, where he guided the team to a franchise record 56 wins and reached the Western Conference Finals. Hollins took the helm in Memphis midway through the 2008-09 season and led the Grizzlies to consecutive postseason appearances in his final three campaigns as coach. In his four-plus season stint as head coach, Hollins compiled a record of 196-155 (.558).
The Las Vegas native was an original member of the Vancouver franchise as an assistant coach, and was a staple on the sidelines for 10 of the club’s first 12 seasons (1995‐00, 2002‐07). Hollins twice served as the Grizzlies’ interim head coach, when he guided Vancouver to an 18‐42 finish (.300) in 1999‐00, and again took over for four games in 2004‐05, following the resignation of Hubie Brown. Overall, Hollins owns a career NBA coaching record of 214‐201 (.516). Prior to joining the Grizzlies, the Arizona State graduate spent seven years with the Phoenix Suns (1988‐95) as an assistant coach under Cotton Fitzsimmons and later Paul Westphal. He began his coaching career as an assistant at Arizona State in 1985 and served for part of the 2008-09 season as an assistant coach for the Milwaukee Bucks.
Selected sixth overall in the first round of the 1975 NBA Draft by the Portland Trail Blazers, the Arizona State product earned a spot on the 1976 All‐Rookie First Team and won an NBA Championship as a starter for the Trail Blazers in 1977. A year later, he was an NBA All‐Star while also being named to the NBA’s All‐Defensive First Team. Over 10 NBA seasons, Hollins averaged 11.6 points, 4.5 assists and 1.56 steals in 673 career games with the Trail Blazers, Philadelphia 76ers, San Diego Clippers, Detroit Pistons and Houston Rockets.