The Lakers have interviewed a number of coaches over the last few weeks and while some have emerged as favorites according to those close to the situation, one name that has remained popular among fans is former Memphis Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins.
Hollins did not get his contract renewed by Memphis despite leading the Grizzlies to the Western Conference Finals in 2013 and has interviewed for a number of jobs this season. Only the Lakers and Cleveland Cavaliers remain without a coach, but another team is trying to bring Hollins on their staff according to ESPN’s Marc Stein:
The Houston Rockets are making a hard push to convince former Memphis Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins to join Kevin McHale’s staff as an assistant, according to sources close to the process.
Stein’s report also noted that it will be pretty difficult to convince Hollins to become an assistant, at least while there are still open head coaching positions. Hollins wants to be a head coach in the NBA and is unlikely to take a step down, especially after the success he enjoyed in Memphis.
Hollins is still a very real possibility for the Laker’s job as he brings a defensive mindset to a team that had nothing of the sort last season. His knowledge on that end is likely the reason that Houston would love to have him on their staff as the Rockets’ defense ranked near the bottom of the league.
Perhaps if Hollins is passed over for both the Lakers and Cavaliers positions, he would consider going to Houston as an assistant, but even then, that seems unlikely.