Hollins Out as Grizzlies Coach

By Bill Dries

Lionel Hollins is no longer with the Memphis Grizzlies, the NBA team’s front office announced Monday, June 10.

“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 CEO and managing partner Jason Levien said in a written statement. “We have begun to identify our next head coach, who we feel can best move us forward.”

The decision comes ahead of a Tuesday 11 a.m. press conference the Grizzlies called at FedExForum to talk about Hollins’ future. But Hollins broke the news first Monday evening.

Hollins’ contract with the organization runs out June 30 and Levien’s statement said Hollins is no longer with the team effective immediately.

Hollins dismissal comes after a 56-win season, the most successful season in the history of the franchise which was originally in Vancouver. The team, under Hollins’ leadership, made it to the western conference finals before being swept by the San Antonio Spurs.

The 2013 season was also the first under new majority owner Robert Pera. And it was evident early on that Hollins, who was hired when Michael Heisley was the majority owner, and Pera and Levien saw things differently.

A group of about 100 Grizzlies fans rallied in Tom Lee Park Saturday calling for Pera and Levien to keep Hollins as coach.