Saturday, November 15, 2008

When you sit in the head coach's seat, suggestions change

Lionel Hollins' first season as an NBA assistant came in 1988 when he joined Cotton Fitzsimmons' staff in PHX.

Over the next 20 years, he worked as both a lead assistant and a head coach, including an extended stint with Vancouver/Memphis, where he coached until 2006-07.

But when the Grizzlies went through a coaching change following the '06-'07 season, Coach Hollins was out of a job.

"I was prepared to move on to another phase of my life," he said.

Then he got a call from Scott Skiles, who'd taken over in MIL. According to Coach Skiles:

"One of my goals was to assemble a staff where everybody has had head coaching experience. I've done both. I know it's great to be an assistant coach and make suggestions. I also know that once you sit in that head coach's seat, those suggestions change a little bit. (Lionel) is just known for being a very, very good coach."

[Here's a clip of Coach Hollins from his playing days.]