May 15, 2013; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Memphis Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins reacts to a call in action against the Oklahoma City Thunder during the second half in game five of the second round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena. The Grizzlies defeated the Thunder 88-84. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Houston Rockets Interested In Lionel Hollins As Associate Head Coach


Marc J. Spears (Yahoo Sports) sent out this tweet in the early hours of Saturday.

The former Memphis Grizzlies head coach is garnering a lot of interested from multiple teams, so it would be interesting to see if he would choose a “lesser” coaching role with a better team, rather than being the head coach of a worse team.

What is an associate head coach? It seems like a fancier title for head assistant coach, similar to what Kelvin Sampson was to the Rockets before leaving for the University of Houston. Hollins would be the lead assistant in Houston and help replace Sampson.

Hollins is arguably the best defense-first coach out in the market, unless you believe Jeff Van Gundy can be pried away from the microphone. The Rockets defense took a huge hit late in the 2013-2014 regular season when Sampson departed for the Cougars coaching job. Sampson was known as the team’s defensive-minded coach and his loss was a big reason the Rockets were forced out of the playoffs early.

One interesting thing about the Rockets’ interest in Hollins is that he is known for disliking the analytical side of basketball. Hollins once yelled at John Hollinger, former ESPN statistician now a member of the Grizzlies front office, for interfering with one of his practices. Hollins was forced out of Memphis for those reasons which would make his fit in Houston quite interesting. Houston is known as one of the top analytically-driven teams in the league, led by GM Daryl Morey.

If Hollins is willing to put his analytics-hate behind him, he would be a great fit in Houston under coach Kevin McHale. Hollins has tons of experience, a great resume, and is a defensive-minded coach the Rockets seek. Hollins also played his final 10 season in the NBA with the Rockets.

What do you think Rockets fans? Would you like to see Hollins as the associate head coach of your Houston Rockets? Sound off in the comments below!

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Tags: Houston Rockets Lionel Hollins

  • Lucas Daniel Uribe

    He would want to come to H-Town for a lesser role than “Head Coach”, and know that all the Rockets need to do is play discipline defense and play tough. There’s a reason why Memphis is known as the Grind House.

    • Yoni Pollak

      Coming to Houston and being succesful, would defenitely help him get interest in big-time gigs in the future.

  • Jah

    Daryl Morey is a Dumb racist Idiot. This bonehead Ape rather keep a failure in McHale as the Head Coach but hire a “Black Assistant” to run things for McHale and make him look good when McHale is one of the worst hires and worst Coach in the NBA.

    Why would Lionel Hollins want to take a back seat to a Loser when he’s a Superior Coach than McHale??

    It’s a plantation mentality to put an unqualified WHITE APE at the helm but regulate all the duties of shaping the players into a cohesive unit, to the more experienced “Black Man”. McHale should be an Assistant under Hollins! Not the other way around!

    This is the same type of Roman-style thinking of a White King/Black General-ran army where the Black Man has to make the dumb White King look like a genius and reap all the glory.

    I have been watching Morey closely, and this clown harbors the mentality of a Racist……and probably don’t even know it for being sheltered in an all-White-life and never mingled with Blacks until he got to college or something.

    It’s the same mentality how he sees players. Analytical my a**!! His analytical is nothing more than some White-Supremacy b.s. that does the Rockets a disservice in how we “had to” hired McHale, get Parsons, inked Motiejunas and Casspi. And called Asik and Lin the “Cornerstones of the Rockets.” Smh….pitiful.

    And when one sits back and look at the Rockets after 3 years of this racial engineering, all we got was a DIVIDED ROCKETS FANBASE.

    White fans are pit against Harden’s Black fanbase because of Parsons. And Lin’s fans are pit against Harden and Beverly’ Black fanbase because of Lin. And this is the stuff a team deals with when you don’t vet a GM properly.

    Morey could pass for Donald Sterling’s SON! I’m sick of this Racist Clown, and destroying our good tradition of a professional-ran organization of Rockets basketball.

    We never had to deal with this racial element among the fans until Morey got here and change things up how we used to do it.

    The Rockets always been known as a BLACK team. The leadership was never questioned like it is now with these clueless Lin fans thinking Lin should be hand the reign over a big-time, legit Superstar player in James Harden. Morey fostered this poisonous environment though, and don’t even know it!!

    Why did we bring this stupid racist idiot to the Rockets??? Should have left him in Boston, and let Mchale join him up there!

    • Trippin

      Bro, you have problems

  • Lamont Hollins

    The reason Hollins kicked Hollinger out of the gym had NOTHING to do with this made up dislike for analytics. He kicked him out is because he literally interrupted a practice by jumping onto the court as a “sixth” defender as a player was taking a shot! Hollins had no idea if he was a fan or a VIP since Jason Levien was shuttling many people through practices without forewarning the coaching staff. That’s like interrupting an employee meeting led by a dept head to chat up a staffer about the clubs they went to ove the weekend. Hollins has no issue with analytics, but like any smart leader he uses it with his instincts and experience, not as the overwhelming force. In the heat of the battle no coach defers to analytics to make split second decisions. I wish people would stop perpetuating that narrative.