Confirmed: Lionel Hollins will not be with the Memphis Grizzlies next season.
The 22-year NBA coaching veteran’s contract ends Sunday, June 30th, and the Grizzlies will not offer him a new one.
Hollins is no longer with the organization, effective immediately, according to the Grizzlies media relations department.
The Grizzlies released information about the decision just before 7 p.m. Monday.
“After a thorough internal process, which included conversations with Lionel and his representatives, we decided as an organization to move in a different direction,” said Jason Levien, CEO & Managing Partner of the Memphis Grizzlies and FedExForum.
“On behalf of the Grizzlies organization I would like to thank Lionel for his service and hard work in helping this organization throughout his years in Vancouver and Memphis,” Levien continued. “Lionel, the coaching staff, the players and the organization achieved new heights this season with our run to the Western Conference Finals and for that, we are grateful. The entire Grizzlies family wishes Lionel all the best and great success as he moves forward in his career.”
One oft-cited issue leading up to the split was “philosophical differences,” something Hollins said he was not aware of during a recent interview.
Hollins visited WREG last week and told us he hoped to stay with the Grizzlies. Click here to watch his interview.
Just this morning, one fan said she hoped fans’ voices would be heard by management. Click here to watch her interview.
ESPN reports that sources say Grizzlies assistant coach Dave Joerger “is the overwhelming favorite to succeed Hollins, who departs in the wake of a 56-win season and the franchise’s first-ever trip to the Western Conference finals.”
“We have begun to identify our next head coach, who we feel can best move us forward,” Levien further said.