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.]