When the Los Angeles Lakers officially hired Frank Vogel as their head coach, they immediately went to work putting together an absolutely stacked coaching staff. Jason Kidd got a lot of the attention, but veteran Lionel Hollins, with over 30 years of coaching experience, was also a major addition and brings a lot to the table.
With the season now set to return, the Lakers can continue on their quest to hoist the Larry O’Brien trophy. However, there are a lot of rules being put into place due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, one of which could be restricting coaches above the age of 65 from being on the bench.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver suggested something like this could be the case which would directly affect Hollins, who is 66 years old. The idea of older coaches not being around is something that did not sit well with those coaches, and according to Brad Turner of the L.A. Times, Hollins insists that he wants to be with the Lakers:
Lakers assistant coach Lionel Hollins is 66, but has insisted that he wants to be with the team for the eight seeding games and playoffs at Walt Disney World. “Lionel wants to go. Lionel is in,” one person said. “Those older coaches like Lionel believe it’s going to be safe in Orlando.”
Silver and the NBA undoubtedly had good intentions with the idea of possibly not allowing coaches above 65 years old to be around. The coronavirus (COVID-19) has a greater affect on those in that age range and they simply want to protect them in case there happens to be a breakout within the league as they’re in Orlando.
That being said, these coaches have put in a lot of work just like players have and they want to see things through and hopefully reap the benefits. For someone like Hollins who has never won a championship in 35 seasons as a coach, though he did win one as a player, this could represent his best opportunity to do so and he wants to do everything possible to achieve that goal.
Much has been made of the chemistry of this Lakers team, but that doesn’t only apply to the players. This coaching staff with Vogel, Kidd, Hollins, Phil Handy, Miles Simon and others is very close as well and all of them bring something different to the table.
The Lakers have a chance to win an NBA championship and Hollins wants to contribute to that as much as possible.