Brooklyn Nets coach Lionel Hollins is blunt and honest.
That endears him to his players. It also contributed to the Grizzlies ousting him.
His style can cut both ways. (For the record, I love it.)
This time, it might lower his approval rating in Memphis.
I’ve been to New York many times. Having been in the league as long as I have – and even when I lived in Philly and when I lived, now, in Memphis – we would come up and go to a play or go to a musical and then go to dinner and hang out for two or three days. So, I’m pretty comfortable with New York. I just never thought I’d be living here. That’s the big shocker. It’s still surreal to believe that I’m in New York, and especially after being 12 years in Memphis. And Memphis is like, to compare it to New York, it’s like back in the stone age when you didn’t have electricity and stuff, but – and that’s not a knock on Memphis as much as it’s just a contrast in how developed and how just unbelievably electric New York is versus Memphis. People are laid back. They move slow. They talk slow, and they drag their words out. And here, everybody talks so fast, and usually, you have to listen real hard and ask ‘em to say what they said again. And the pace is just so fast.
Hollins covers himself fairly well – trying to emphasize he meant no disrespect – but I’m sure not everyone, especially the fine folks of Memphis, will forgive him so easily.
In reality, Memphis and New York have different cultures. I bet a lot people in Memphis are proud their city differs so dramatically from New York, but they might not want to hear the differences framed quite that way, and I wouldn’t blame them for being agitated
At least Hollins got one thing right: He didn’t slight New York. Had he flipped the analogy to cast the Big Apple in a bad light, he really would have heard an uproar.