Quickly moving on from the Jason Kidd fiasco, the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday hired Lionel Hollins to be their next coach, according to multiple reports.
The Nets may have upgraded with the move, bringing in a more established and respected coach who guided the Memphis Grizzlies to the Western Conference finals in 2013. Hollins’ contract was reported to be for four years and $18 million.
Hollins had been a candidate for the Lakers’ opening, which is the last in the NBA. The Lakers are believed to be waiting to see how their pursuit of top free agents LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony plays out before making their decision on a replacement for Mike D’Antoni, who resigned after last season. Former Laker Byron Scott is widely considered the front-runner.
The Nets needed a new coach after Kidd tried to pressure the franchise into giving him a front-office position that would usurp the power of General Manager Billy King. Ownership balked at the idea and promptly traded Kidd to the Milwaukee Bucks for a pair of second-round draft picks.
Brooklyn made it to the Eastern Conference semifinals in Kidd’s one season, a success considering the team’s 10-21 start but a disappointment taking into account its NBA-high $102.6-million payroll.
The Nets have Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Brook Lopez and Kevin Garnett under contract for next season but must convince free agent Paul Pierce to return. Pierce is expected to be pursued by Clippers Coach and President Doc Rivers, his former coach with the Boston Celtics.
Hollins, 60, has a 214-201 career record over parts of seven seasons, all with Vancouver/Memphis. The Grizzlies decided not to bring him back for the 2013-14 season after new management replaced him with assistant Dave Joerger.