The Memphis Grizzlies decided to part with the winningest coach in franchise history, telling Lionel Hollins they will not be renewing his contract as head coach coming off their first trip to the Western Conference finals.
Hollins confirmed Monday night that he had been told his contract would not be renewed. He had no further comment.
The Commercial Appeal first cited anonymous sources that Hollins had been told he would not be back. WMC-TV first reported Hollins said his contract would not be renewed before thanking former Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley for giving him the opportunity to be coach and fans for their support.
The move finally came after Hollins attended each of the Grizzlies’ first three pre-draft workouts, including the third session Monday.
Hollins’ contract had been set to expire June 30, but the Grizzlies issued a statement Monday night saying that Hollins is no longer with the organization. Jason Levien, chief executive officer and managing partner of the Grizzlies, said they decided after talks with Hollins and his agent to go in a different direction.
Hollins had been with this franchise for 10 of its first 12 seasons. He was 214-201 overall and finished 18-17 in the playoffs.
DETROIT HIRES CHEEKS: The Detroit Pistons hired former 76ers and Trail Blazers coach Maurice Cheeks.
Detroit fired Lawrence Frank in April, a day after the once-proud franchise finished 29-53. Frank was 54-94 in two seasons with the Pistons. Cheeks was 284-286 with Philadelphia and Portland.
Former All-Star Mookie Blaylock is out of the hospital and in jail, charged with vehicular homicide in a car crash south of Atlanta. Blaylock was also charged with driving on a suspended license, making an improper lane change and crossing the median in the head-on crash that killed a 43-year-old woman in Jonesboro on May 31. Blaylock is being held without bond. ... Kobe Bryant reached a settlement with a New Jersey auction house that allows his mother sell a small amount of his memorabilia while also getting an apology from his parents, who thanked him for his financial support.
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