The Brooklyn Nets have reached terms with Lionel Hollins to become the team’s new head coach, the franchise said on Wednesday.
Sources familiar with the situation told ESPN’s Marc Stein that Hollins will receive a four-year deal worth approximately $18 million. However, the Nets have yet to announce exact details.
The Brooklyn Nets have reached an agreement in principle with Lionel Hollins to become the team's new head coach.
— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) July 2, 2014
For both sides, the agreement marks the culmination of over a year of flirtation. Hollins was considered a top candidate for the Nets job last offseason, but General Manager Billy King and team owner Mikhail Prokhorov eventually opted to hire Kidd. Nets management also pursued Hollins’ services during the 2013-14 season, after the dismissal of top assistant coach Lawrence Frank, ESPN notes.
Hollins is best known for his tenure as head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies, a role he held from midway through the 2008-09 NBA season through the 2012-13 season. In his final three years in Memphis, the 60-year-old led the Grizzlies to three consecutive playoff appearances, including a berth in the Western Conference finals. However, Grizzlies ownership opted not to renew his contract.
Brooklyn executives were reportedly anxious to move forward after a public spat with former head coach Jason Kidd, who left the franchise after a failed bid to seize control of the Nets’ front office. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports announced on Monday that Kidd had left the Nets to become the head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks. Brooklyn received a pair of second-round draft picks as compensation.
In a recent interview with ESPN’s “Mike & Mike” radio program, King acknowledged that the Nets valued experience in its search for a new head coach. "One, I think we're looking for experience, someone we'll build with for a long time," King said. "Someone who can develop young players, develop veterans and have a tough mind-set. But someone also who has the experience who can take us to where we want to go."
Hollins has plenty of experience, having spent over 30 years as a player and coach in the NBA. He owns a 415-214 record as a head coach.