While the Lakers have cast a wide net in their coaching search, when it has come down to interviews they have gone to experienced veterans with some history of success — Mike Dunleavy (he coached the Lakers to the NBA Finals) and Byron Scott (who twice coached the Nets to the NBA Finals).
Now add Lionel Hollins to the mix.
The former Memphis coach who built a defense-first team and took them to the Western Conference Finals, the best coach left on the market, will get an interview, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.
Lakers management plans to interview Hollins later this week, league sources said….
Hollins’ history of strong defensive preparation and results, as well as a serious-minded leadership style, assuredly will appeal to Lakers star Kobe Bryant. Like Lakers management, Bryant is hopeful of the team finding a proven head coach with a winning track record.
Kobe has made it clear he wants to win now, that he’s only got a couple of years left, and Hollins is a better coach for winning now than the other two (both of whom would be better than a college coach brought up, for example).
Hollins clashed with the more advanced stats driven front office owner Robert Pera put in place and Hollins did not have his contract renewed. Of course, we look back at that now — with the Memphis front office cleaned out again, the old GM with the power and coach Dave Joerger about to head to Minnesota to replace Rick Adelman — that maybe Hollins wasn’t exactly the problem.
Hollins would be an interesting fit, a no-nonsense kind of guy that is a departure from the last few Lakers coaches. He has built a strong culture, has a distinct philosophy and it built a quality team in Memphis. It’s the kind of team and trajectory the Lakers would like to be on.
Yeah, the Lakers lost to the Rockets, 134-95, Wednesday. But consider how lopsided that margin would’ve been without Lou Williams‘ halfcourt buzzer-beater.
And if this headline looks familiar, it is.
LeBron James did his part – scoring 25 points (on just 10 shots!), dishing seven assists and grabbing six rebounds – to give the Cavaliers an insurmountable lead over the Knicks through three quarters. So, he didn’t even play in the fourth quarter.
As Cleveland put the finishing touches on its 126-94 win, boredom set it. LeBron and a few of his teammates tried to flip a water bottle and have it land upright on the floor. LeBron even dove onto the court to pull the bottle back in after an errant flip!
No, Phil Jackson should not have used the word “posse” to describe LeBron’s business associates and friends. But this is the most disrespectful thing I’ve ever seen – and I love it.
The Mavericks’ long-rumored interest in DeMarcus Cousins took its most direct public turn before the season, when Dallas signed Cousins’ brother, Jaleel Cousins. Jaleel is now on the Mavericks’ D-League affiliate, and I bet he will remain there as DeMarcus approaches 2018 free agency.
Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News:
So, DeMarcus Cousins, what do you think about the Mavericks’ long-rumored interest in acquiring you?
“It’s flattering,” Cousins told me, with a laugh, after the Kings’ Wednesday shootaround at AAC. Then, turning serious, he added of the Mavericks, “I respect them.”
“But,” I said, “I’ve also heard that you like it in Sacramento.”
“No,” Cousins corrected, “I love Sacramento.”
Cousins is getting good at this, toeing the line between appreciating another team’s interest and expressing his satisfaction with the Kings.
And give Cousins credit. He keeps producing at a star level for a team that hasn’t provided him with the proper support. Sacramento again appears headed toward the lottery, even as Cousins averages 29-10.
Questions remain, though: How much of Cousins’ attitude is him trying to make the best of an inescapable situation, and will expanded options in the summer of 2018 test his loyalty?
LeBron James is dominating, and the Cavaliers are rolling over the Knicks.
It’s almost as if something has LeBron particularly riled up. But maybe ease up a little? That cowering fan isn’t Phil Jackson.