The Houston Rockets may lose out on the services of Lionel Hollins.
The Rockets have been actively recruiting Lionel Hollins to be a part of Kevin Mchale’s coaching staff. Throughout the month of June the Rockets have been trying to get Hollins to sign on as an associate head coach, but he has been reluctant to sign a deal.
Lionel Hollins has been waiting for a head coaching job since his fallout with Memphis Grizzlies management after the 2013 playoffs. He lead the Grizzlies to a 56-win season and a trip to the Western Conference Finals, but his contract was not renewed, leaving him without a job.
His chance to get back on the sidelines as a head coach may come at an improbable destination. The Brooklyn Nets have traded away coach Jason Kidd, to the Milwaukee Bucks, for two future second round picks. The highly publicized breakup of the two parties comes just a day before the free agency period begins.
This leaves the veteran team with a sudden coaching vacancy. With no salary cap space, the Brooklyn Nets roster will be very similar to last years, and will need a proven leader at the helm.
According to ESPN, the two parties would be a good fit.
Lionel Hollins represents stability, something the Nets organization is lacking. A league source is quoted saying,”He represents stability, and stability is very important right now. He rules with an iron fist and gets a lot out of his players, so he’d be very high on the list right now, and likely the leader.”
With Hollins as serious candidate to be the Nets next head coach, it dampers the possibility of him coming to Houston as an assistant.
Sources say, the Los Angeles Lakers will also bring Hollins back to LA for another round of interviews; he is a candidate for their head coaching position as well.
Lionel Hollins was the defensive minded coach that the Rockets were looking for. With Kevin Mchale manning the offense and Hollins taking control of the defense, it seemed like the Rockets would have been in a perfect position, X’s and O’s wise.
With Lionel Hollins likely out of the picture, the Rockets will need to focus their attention elsewhere. I believe it is important for the Rockets to not only sign a big name free agent, but also add a defensive minded coach to the staff.
The Rockets were able to score plenty of points last season. What the Rockets need to understand is that offense wins games and defense wins championships.
With that being said, Daryl Morey will have a lot on his plate in the coming weeks. Priority number one signing Carmelo Anthony, and number two finding a defensive minded assistant coach.