Grizzlies and Coach Lionel Hollins agree to contract extension

The Memphis Grizzlies and Head Coach Lionel Hollins have agreed on a multi-year contract extension, Grizzlies General Manager and Vice President of Basketball Operations Chris Wallace announced today.

In his first full season as an NBA head coach, Hollins guided Memphis to a 40-42 record (.488), the fourth-best season in the franchise’s 15-year history.  The Grizzlies recorded a 16-game improvement in 2009-10, second only to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Since naming Hollins the 11th head coach in club history on Jan. 25, 2009, Memphis has steadily improved, posting a 53-68 record (.438) after going 55-152 (.266) in the two-and-a-half seasons prior.

Under Hollins, the Grizzlies set franchise records in 2009-10 for scoring (102.5 points) and field goal percentage (.469) while establishing the longest home and road winning streaks in club history (11-game home winning streak from Dec. 18, 2009-Jan. 25, 2010, seven-game road winning streak from Feb. 17-March 10, 2010).  The former 1978 NBA All-Star with the Portland Trail Blazers also helped Grizzlies forward and nine-year NBA veteran Zach Randolph earn his first career All-Star appearance, as he set or tied 16 franchise records in his first season in the Bluff City.

The 22-year NBA coaching veteran was named the Western Conference Coach of the Month after leading the Grizzlies to a 9-4 record (.692) in December, the best December record and sixth-highest winning percentage for a single month in team history.

An original member of the Grizzlies organization as an assistant coach with Vancouver in 1995, Hollins rallied Memphis to win 39 of its final 73 games (.534) after a 1-8 start to the season.  He also helped the Grizzlies snap long-standing road losing streaks against opponents such as the San Antonio Spurs (10 games), New Orleans Hornets (eight games), Phoenix Suns (seven games), Chicago Bulls (five games), Portland Trail Blazers (four games) and Philadelphia 76ers (four games).  The Grizzlies also defeated every NBA division leader this season.

A member of the 1977 NBA Champion Portland Trail Blazers, Hollins holds a lifetime NBA coaching record of 71-114 (.384), having served as the Grizzlies’ interim head coach for 60 games in the 1999-00 season and four games during the 2004-05 campaign.