It’s old school vs. new school.
Lionel Hollins is about as old school as it gets. He’s from the era when the front office assembles the team, and the coach gets to run the team as he sees fit. Modern NBA teams tend to have more involvement between the front office and the coaching staff, a place such as Golden State where there is a deep brain trust that discusses a lot of issues and adjustment ideas can come from any corner of the organization.
I’m not sure what Hollins had to deal with in Brooklyn could be called collaborative. He was let go by Brooklyn Jan. 10. In an interview on Sirius XM NBA radio recently Hollins talked about meddling management (this was transcribed by the New York Post).
“The main thing when you’re looking for a job is finding somebody that allows you to be you and lets you coach as you coach,” Hollins said on SiriusXM radio. “If you’re successful, great. If you’re not, get rid of him.
“But the micromanaging, the meddling of who should play and how you should talk to this guy and how you should talk to the media, what you should say or shouldn’t say because how it looks for the organization versus just speaking the truth — those things weigh on you when you spend so much time trying to massage everybody instead of just coaching.”
This sounds like it could apply to Hollins’ time in Memphis as well.
It’s also a growing part of a modern NBA. Successful organizations do a good job breaking down the wall between the front office and the coaching staff — Gregg Popovich has specifically talked about this in San Antonio. They hire people who are “over themselves” and want to be part of a team setting, so that guys like Sean Marks can bounce from the front office to being an assistant coach to being in the front office with ease.
Marks is now the GM of the Nets, and whoever he brings in as his next coach will be from that collaborative mindset, not one where there is a wall between management and ownership.