Fresh off a 76-72 win over Brooklyn, Memphis Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins joined Jim Rome on Monday. The win extended the Grizzlies’ win streak to 7 games, which has quieted talk of the team’s struggles following the trade of Rudy Gay.
Hollins was a fan of Gay’s and it was believed that his support of Gay had lead to a dispute with management over the trade. Before a January 11th game against San Antonio, Hollins told reporters, “I like my team. We’re 23-10. Why would I want to break up at 23-10 team?”
Mike Monroe of the San Antonio Express-News wrote that that same media session, Hollins added, “If they break up the team and get rid of everybody, I’ll coach them until the season’s over,” he said. “Then I’ll make a decision about what I’m going to do.”
Today, Hollins said that it was never as dramatic as it sounded.
“I took a lot of criticism and there was a lot of thought that I was against management and what have you, but I wasn’t,” Hollins said, adding that he had been in communication with management about such a move.
“A question was asked by a media person, “Would you want to keep your team together?” Of course I would,” said Hollins. “But it got to the point when the trade was made, it was like ‘he didn’t want the trade and he’s against management.’ It wasn’t that at all, I was asked a question and I answered it.”
As for the idea that he might not Memphis next year, Hollins, who is in the final year of his contract said that’s not his plan.
“I think I’ll be in Memphis. I believe I’ll be in Memphis. There’s nothing cut in stone, but that’s my thought process. And if it’s not in Memphis than I’ll try to coach somewhere else and do the best job I can,” Hollins said.
“But my thought process is I will be in Memphis, I love the city, I love the organization and the players that we have developed. This is where I’ve been, this is where I’ve had my first real opportunity, and where I’ve had my first success. So I wouldn’t want to go anywhere, but I know the business of basketball and my mind would be open and if it had to happen I would leave. But that’s not my thought process; my thought process is to be here in Memphis.”