The Memphis Grizzlies said they won’t offer coach Lionel Hollins a new contract after a season in which the team reached the National Basketball Association’s Western Conference finals for the first time.
Hollins’s contract expires June 30 and the team opted to make a change due to philosophical differences between the coach and the front office, the Commercial Appeal of Memphis said, citing unidentified people close to management.
“After a thorough internal process, which included conversations with Lionel and his representatives, we decided as an organization to move in a different direction,” Grizzlies Chief Executive Jason Levien said in a statement.
The Grizzlies had a franchise-best 56-26 record this season and reached the Western Conference finals before losing to the San Antonio Spurs. The team had previously given Hollins permission to talk with other clubs about coaching vacancies.
Hollins is among three NBA coaches dismissed this offseason after leading their teams to franchise records for wins in a season, joining former Denver Nuggets coach George Karl and ex-Los Angeles Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Karl met last week with the Grizzlies, USA Today reported.
Hollins, 59, had a 214-201 record with the Grizzlies, who he’d coached since 2008. He also had stints as the franchise’s interim coach during the 1999-2000 and 2004-05 seasons.
“We have begun to identify our next head coach, who we feel can best move us forward,” Levien said.
To contact the reporter on this story: Erik Matuszewski in New York at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at email@example.com