Los Angeles Lakers To Interview Lionel Hollins

Posted: May 25 2014, 9:13pm CDT | by , in News | Latest Sports News

Los Angeles Lakers to Interview Lionel Hollins
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The Los Angeles Lakers are set to interview former Memphis Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins some time later this week, per multiple reports.

Former Memphis Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins has emerged as a coach for the Los Angeles Lakers' coaching job.

Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski confrims this in his May 25 report, citing league sources:

"Lionel Hollins has emerged as a candidate for the Los Angeles Lakers' coaching job, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

"Lakers management plans to interview Hollins later this week, league sources said.

"After meeting with two candidates with Lakers ties -- Mike Dunleavy and Byron Scott -- Hollins is an intriguing inclusion in the process. He's the first candidate who doesn't have a history with the organization, but, of the three, he has the most recent track record of success in the league.

"In his final three years as head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies, Hollins reached the playoffs three times -- including a trip to the Western Conference Finals and conference semifinals. As a player, Hollins won a championship with the Blazers in 1977 and was named an All-Star in 1978."

Hollins is a hot coaching commodity as he is being eyed by both the Lakers and the Cleveland Cavaliers, per USA TODAY's Sam Amick.

"Lionel Hollins is a hot commodity again.

"In the wake of the Memphis Grizzlies' front-office shakeup that appears to have indirectly benefitted their former coach, a person with knowledge of the situation said Hollins is now in the mix for both the Los Angeles Lakers and Cleveland Cavaliers coaching positions.

"The person spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because of the private nature of the situation.

"Hollins is expected to interview with the Lakers late next week, likely Thursday or Friday. He will become the third known candidate to have sat down with Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak, who has already visited with former head coach Mike Dunleavey (Lakers, Milwaukee Bucks, Portland Trail Blazers and Los Angeles Clippers) and former head coach Byron Scott (New Jersey Nets, New Orleans Hornets, Cleveland Cavaliers).

"The Cavaliers began scheduling interviews for their victory in recent days, and Hollins' interview is likely to come next weekend. Hollins was 183-129 in his four full seasons with the Grizzlies (2009-2013), and Memphis reached the Western Conference Finals for the first time in franchise history in his final season.

"Chicago Bulls assistant coach Adrian Griffin, meanwhile, is scheduled to interview with the Cavaliers on Tuesday. Clippers assistant coach Alvin Gentry and former Clippers head coach Vinny Del Negro, who have ties from their Phoenix Suns days with Cavaliers general manager Dave Griffin, are also expected to be interviewed.

"Griffin has already interviewed for the Utah Jazz position as well and remains in the running there."

The Los Angeles Daily News' Mark Medina also confirms in his May 25 update that Hollins is indeed being eyed by the Lakers organization.

"The Lakers have expanded their coaching search beyond candidates who have previous ties to the organization.

"The Lakers plan to interview former Memphis Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins, according to a league source familiar with the discussions.

"A firm date is not yet set, but the interview will likely take place later this week, said the league source.

"The Lakers interviewed both Mike Dunleavy and Byron Scott last week. Although the Lakers hope to hire their next coach before the NBA draft on June 26, they are not expected to finalize the coaching search within the next two weeks.

"Hollins' qualities also fit a few checkboxes the Lakers are looking for in their next coach. Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak has said he is leaning toward those with experience.

"Hollins complied a proven track record through five seasons with Memphis (2008-2013) with five playoff appearances, including advancing to the 2013 Western Conference Finals against the San Antonio Spurs."

On the other hand, Mary Schmitt Boyer of The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported on May 19 that "there is mutual interest" between Hollins and the Cavaliers.

Boyer wrote, "There is mutual interest between former Memphis coach Lionel Hollins and the Cavaliers, an NBA source said on Monday, but no interview has been scheduled as the Cavs' search for a head coach to replace Mike Brown entered its second week."

The Lakers, who were just 27-55 (.329) in 2013-14, could benefit from Hollins' emphasis on defense. Los Angeles was just 29th in total defense (109.2 points), 24th in defensive field-goal percentage (46.8) and 30th in fastbreak points allowed (16.7), per Medina.

The Grizzlies placed in the top five in points allowed and steals with Hollins at the helm, according to The Los Angeles Daily News article.

Former Lakers head coach Mike D'Antoni resigned on May 1.

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The Author

Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.




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