Why Lionel Hollins Is The Best Head Coach For The Lakers Draft Pick Reviewed by Momizat on . PAGES: 1 | 2 Hollins was interviewed by the Lakers on May 29 and reportedly felt confident after it concluded. Hollins served two brief stints with the Grizzlie PAGES: 1 | 2 Hollins was interviewed by the Lakers on May 29 and reportedly felt confident after it concluded. Hollins served two brief stints with the Grizzlie Rating: 0
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Why Lionel Hollins Is The Best Head Coach For The Lakers Draft Pick


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Hollins was interviewed by the Lakers on May 29 and reportedly felt confident after it concluded.

Hollins served two brief stints with the Grizzlies franchise as an interim coach back in the 1999-2000 season as well as 2004 when he coached just four games. Hollins was brought back to the team for a third time in 2009, coaching the final 39 games of the regular season while shedding the “interim” label. Once he took over the team in 2009 and was given some job stability, the Memphis Grizzlies saw an increase in win percentage each season until management decided not to renew his contract at the end of the 2012-2013 season.

When Hollins was officially named the head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies in 2009, the team needed to be developed. Marc Gasol and O.J. Mayo were in their rookie years while Rudy Gay and Mike Conley, among others, had less than three NBA seasons under their belts. Conley is now one of the most underrated players in the league where the point guard position is loaded with exceptional talent. Marc Gasol has developed into a premier big man in the NBA.

Although the acquisition of Zach Randolph in 2009 helped speed up the process, Hollins was still responsible for integrating an important piece to the team. After trading for Randolph, Hollins adjusted the team’s playing style to his personnel. Each season, the Grizzlies’ pace continued to decline while their defensive efficiency improved each year, climbing all the way to second-best in the league during his final year coaching the team.

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hi-res-143700369_crop_northWith Hollins at the helm, Memphis earned its first playoff game and series win in franchise history in 2011 when they upset the top-seeded San Antonio Spurs as an eighth seed in the first round. Two years later, they reached the Western Conference Finals for the first time before the Spurs exacted their revenge in a series sweep.

The Grizzlies went from a rebuilding project to one series victory away from a trip to the NBA Finals in a matter of four years. Simply put, the man knows how to develop talent.

Hollins was notorious during his time in Memphis for getting the absolute most out of his big men, along with preaching defense — which brings us to the Lakers.

Sitting with the seventh pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, Los Angeles is projected to end up with either Noah Vonleh, Marcus Smart, Julius Randle or Aaron Gordon. Vonleh and Randle are strictly power forwards while Gordon and Smart tremendous on the defensive end. Gordon is also a power forward, but his versatility may allow him to play multiple positions in the NBA. Either way, Hollins would be getting an excellent defender or a big man loaded with potential to work with. In fact, Randle has drawn a popular comparison to Randolph, making the player-coach pairing look very intriguing.

With guidance from Hollins, along with Kobe Bryant and even Steve Nash, whoever the Lakers select in the draft could develop fantastically. Laker fans would witness much more development and production out of the team’s first round draft pick if they hire Hollins, as opposed to the other candidates that have been linked to the head coaching position.
Lakers Likely Draft Candidates

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About The Author

Gary Kester is a writer for Lakers Nation and standingosports.com. He was born and raised in Idaho and currently lives in Boise. Follow Gary on twitter: @garykester

Number of Entries : 10
  • Damon

    I agree that Lionel Hollins is the best candidate for developing the lottery pick the right way.If you draft Marcus Smart and hire Lionel Hollins you got a player he can develop much like he did with Kevin Johnson during his Phoenix Suns days as a top assistant coach to Cotton and Paul Westphal or he can develop Marcus Smart like he did Mike Conley in Memphis.Also he can develop Julius Randle the best because he coached a similar player Zach Randolph for many years.Also he can develop Noah Vonleh or Aaron Gordon since he has developed other players before.Yes the Lakers should hire Lionel Hollins but it’s something Jim Buss must decide to do rather fast since Cleveland is hot on his trails looking to possibly hire him.Also Lionel Hollins can help influence who the Lakers choose on draft night.

    • Tune

      I 100% agree with you, I hope the Lakers jump on this guy. Although I did hear Cavs are looking to hire a great offensive coach from overseas.

    • nlruizjr

      oh, and I’m assuming that Hollins is the only coach that can develope players, I guess Jason Kid and CP3 and Kyrie Irving don’t count plus who would a rookie want to learn from a coach that has won 3 “C”s and has been to the WCF and ECF and was coach of the year and named to coach the All-Stars (2wice) and what has Hollins accomplished, oh yeah, he was an assistant coach for about 4-5 teams and went to the finals 1once.

      • borsalino12

        Dude. What are you talking about? Byron did not developed anyone of the names you are mentioning here. Ch.Paul and Kyrie Irwing came from the draft with superstar label already and they proved to the World their value. Jason Kidd was a big name, way before landing with the Nets. He was an All-Star already with Dallas and Phoenix. Like the article says, it was very easy for Byron to take the talented New Jersey team to the finals from the Eastern Conference.
        In the other hand, Lionel Hollins took a far talent-less team, # 8 seeded Memphis to the semifinals and eliminated the # 1, San Antonio team with Dunkan, Parker and Ginobili. The next year, he took them even further, to the West finals and lost in 7, very competitive games to the Spurs. That all was done in the Western Conference and if you don’t know the difference between the East and the West in NBA, then it will be a pure wasting of time to continue explaining you this points.

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          • borsalino12

            What are you trying to do here KellyW ? Do you really think someone will be interested from your stupid offer?
            People are talking basketball here, not a P/T job.

  • Arnold

    This draft is missing good big men after Embiid it’s garbage for big centers.SMFH

  • Derek

    I will not accept us to draft Gordon over Randle or Vonleh its just not bright. I would tke Smart over him we don’t need Blake Griffin type of guy because he finally had a good year last year. Don’t draft Gordon unless hes the best available.

    • vdogg

      disagree. i think gordon has loads of upside and his pick and roll defense is fantastic. he is a lot more than just a good athlete. plus, he wants to be a laker and is a total gym rat.

      • Chrmngblly

        Smart fans are not usually too bright–sort of like Smart is, himself. Maybe not all of them are slow but they all get goose bumps when he charges in for a layup, not realizing how much more difficult that is to do in the NBA without fouling. I am torn between Gordon and Vonleh if we only get to take one.

    • http://rantsofascorpio.wordpress.com/ Evan

      Blake has been a good player for quite some time, and his game improves each and every season. I don’t know what his work ethic is like, but he also was coached by Vinny Del Negro until this past season.

      But from what I understand, Gordon has huge intensity, and tremendous work ethic. Listen to his interviews, and that kid is going to be a gym rat. I wouldn’t be upset if we picked up (I like Smart, too).

      • comrade24

        i tend to think that Gordon’s personality will annoy the hell out of Kobe.

        • Tune

          How? Kobe loves those strong personalities. Just look at Metta, Metta plays hard and has an intense personality. Gordon’s personality reminds me a lot of Kobe. Cocky, confident, dedicated, and strives for greatness. Listening to Noah, he seemed very slow as a person. I also like Doug’s personality, he has that classic basketball attitude. I can definitely see Doug having a good career as a role player.

          • comrade24

            i agree with you about McDermott. i also like that he stayed 4 years. He’ll definitely have an immediate impact on whatever team drafts him. Idk, to me Gordon just seems a bit exciteable. Kobe’s a pit bull, he’s a chihuahua. I just think he would follow Kobe around like a lost puppy and it would annoy the hell out of him.

        • http://rantsofascorpio.wordpress.com/ Evan

          The way I see it is that Kobe will love the intensity and work ethic. The only problem might be of Gordon tries too hard to be Kobe’s shadow. Might annoy him a little.

          • comrade24

            that’s what i was talking aout.

        • nlruizjr

          Kobe like anyone that wants to learn what he has to teach, not some phony like DH12, says he wants to learn then rejects what Kobe has to teach him.

        • Chrmngblly

          Like you are Gordon’s BEST FRIEND or something.

        • borsalino12

          In the contrary. Kobe loves prospects on his team, who will play-out their hearts on the floor every night.A great defensive big and young man can compliment in may ways Kobe’s erratic defense in the past 2 seasons.

    • Chrmngblly

      Gordon is the best available. To think otherwise would be like admitting you have no TV.

  • RUDY T.

    Yes Lionel Hollins is the only man i trust for the Lakers head coaching job.

    • Chrmngblly

      I have been a Hollins guy a long time. Now I am a little bit interested in Luke Walton. Who ever we chose he does have to have an awareness of MDA Small-Ball and Miami-Ball, the Heat’s version of Small-Ball. They do it without a dominant big man—which, amazingly, we don’t have either

      Whatever we do, I think we need to copy Miami’s system.

      Read: See if the Lakers don’t need this.

      Replace the [dot]s with periods.

      • SD

        It helps that Chris Bosh was a 20-10 guy and is capable of putting that up any night. He can score from anywhere on the court. IT also helps that Bron is 6’8 250. He can play SF and PF on defense/offense because at 250 lbs or more, he’s got the same weight/strength as a PF. Bosh was a dominant big in Toronto. He doesn’t have to be dominant playing with 2 finals mvps.

        I like where you’re going with this. What the heat have done is get shooters who can defend and great role players…guys who specialize in things like rebounding/defense/shooting 3′s. They have versatility. They have PG’s who aren’t depended on to be great passers. They’re expected to be spot shooters/defenders much like Derek Fisher was.

        • Chrmngblly

          Yes. Let us change the game like the Heat did. We can build a team quickly in this way–we may not win it all at first, but then we just keep adding better pieces. I don’t want to throw away what MDA started, I just want to add defense and some sort of method to our madness. Jim Buss is clueless.

  • vdogg

    i used to be very much in favor of scott.. but now i am on the hollins bandwagon. i think he would make defense a top priority. also, don’t be surprised to see rudy gay in a lakers uniform if hollins is hired.

    • Chrmngblly

      Why do we need Rudy Gay?

      • vdogg

        he is young, athletic, has tremendous upside and had a great year last year. the lakers need a bad ass SF.

        • Chrmngblly

          Maybe. I am not opposed to Gay. Let’s see how we draft. My main concern is that I would like to see Kobe move over there so he isn’t getting his ankles broke off all the time by all the quick 2-guards coming into the league. I think it would extend his career. There’s also Swaggy, Bazemore, Johnson and possibly whoever we draft that could fill the spot. A lot of folks want Deng, too.

  • Lou

    ,Marcus Smart reminds me of Alvin Roberston.Both top defenders.I Hope Lakers get Smart.We need a defensive point guard that can be a 2 way player it’s Smart.

    • Chrmngblly

      He reminds me of Robertson, too, only in a different way. Wasn’t Robertson the rapist that was charged with kidnapping and raping a 14 year old girl and forcing her into prostitution? Are you sure you want to compare Marcus Smart to him? Smart does has character questions, you know.

  • Sam P Taw

    I don’t know what’s dragging the Lakers management to hire a new coach since there are not a lot of “quality” coaches out there looking for a job…unless they are hoping or sensed a chance that Tom Thibodeau would be available? If not, among the reported possible candidates, I would prefer Hollins too then George Karl next.

    • Tune

      I agree, there is honestly nobody else I can think of that we can get at this point. There’s no chance coaches like Doc, Pop, or Thibs suddenly become available at all.

      • Chrmngblly

        Are they looking at Spurs assistants or Heat coaches? That’s all I can see that could make any sense at all.

        • Tune

          I’d be down for any coaches mentored by Phil, Pop, or Pat.

  • Luke

    Wait what so the Lakers are actually going to try to be good next season?????

  • Godfrey Uche

    Out of all the candidates of Lakers head coaching position interviewed so far, the best defensive coach that can help restore Lakers lost glories is Lionel Hollins.

  • Shaq

    I would say we should get smart …. we need a pg who can keep up with these other young point guard , plus he is a good defender and knows who to attack the rim ..

    • Chrmngblly

      No, If they take the best athlete, that would be Gordon. Then Lavine, Vonleh, Smart and Randle.

      Smart can’t shoot or pass and he’s another ball-hog. You are aware of that, right, Shaq?

    • borsalino12

      The way, Smart’s body is built, he CAN NOT defend and stop PG’s like D.Lillard, R.Westbrook, Ch.Paul and Tony Parker. He may be successfull against fellas like Derek Fisher and Andre Miller, but not the top ones.
      If nobody signed as FA, Farmar and Marshall can get the job done for few years, till Kyrie Irwing becomes a Laker. We need help at both forward positions and Aaron Gordon can fill the bill in that regard.

  • Jay Brodes

    better be byron or else!!! still blame dan-idiot for getting mamba hurt in 2013!!! thanks mike…good riddance!

  • J Taylor

    If all the defensive pieces align, Hollins is the key.
    - Imagine: Kobe, Smart, Ariza, & Hill.

    If the future is based around a PG … Scott is the key.

    If Lebron or Melo wants a specific coach… who knows?

  • nlruizjr

    What happened to the “WHY”. you gave absolutely no reason what so ever as to Why Hollins, apparently their isn’t any !!!!!!

  • Steve


  • cory

    Lionel Hollins let’s go coach!!!!!

  • Robert L. I.

    Don’t agree. Lionel Hollins is a good 3rd choice behind number 2 Byron Scott, and the BEST choice being MARC JACKSON! Has anyone watched when Golden State played the Lakers? Effing exciting. Great offensive schemes, and the 3rd best DEFENSE in the league last season. That’s right Golden State was 3rd best on “D”.

    Jackson lives in L.A. The players will die for him every night as they did up north. Every player on that team publicly beg/stood up to management, demanding Jackson not be fired. Now that’s saying something. I don’t remember any Laker doing that for Phil. I’m not sure where they ranked on offense, but at one point last season they were the highest scoring team in b-ball.

    It’s a no brainer Marc Jackson’s the right coach for this team. West Coast baby! I’m hoping Laker management silence on M. Jackson is saying something.

    • borsalino12

      Pure nonsense.

      • Robert L. I.

        What are you talking about? How so?

  • borsalino12

    This is the guy we have to pic. Look how well the gold uniform will suit on him.
    As for the coach, there is only one, who can install a program here and work on it in the future. His name is L I O N E L H O L L I N S.
    As for assistants, we should select Luke Walton, Rick Fox and Nate McMillan.

  • Matt Williams

    Best article I’ve read in a while!

  • SD

    I like Hollins. He’s a rising star in this league as a coach. Every year, the win percentage of the Grizzlies improved. He’s been crucial in the development of Conley, Marc Gasol. He made Marc Gasol a defensive player of the year. If you watch Gasol play, he really isn’t a very mobile center but Hollins is a great teacher, and I think he would fit well.

    He manages personalities pretty well because he has a dominant personality. Even while Rudy Gay was on the team, Hollins was able to keep those guys as a unit and when he was traded, he got that team to play even better.

    I don’t understand why Hollins was even fired. I like Joerger…does Memphis though? lol

    Hollins, to me, would fit well. He deserves a shot with an organization that can net him even better players than he had in Memphis.

  • roseducanna

    Jim Buss need a cheap coach about 2-3mils,because he have money from cable.

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