Lionel Hollins seemed passionate about the option of returning as the Memphis Grizzlies' head coach in a report by Marc J. Spears of Yahoo!, stating the case for why he should be allowed to continue coaching the club that was swept in the Western Conference Finals.
Hollins took a team that had massive roster overhaul and pumped out the best season in franchise history. He's going to be a hot commodity on the coaching carousel -- the Nets and Clippers are supposedly interested -- and the Grizzlies have yet to give him an extension with his contract set to expire at the end of June. Per Spears, Hollins has his heart set on returning:
"I hope things get worked out quickly. I love our team and the possibilities," Hollins texted Yahoo! Sports after the Grizzlies' 93-86 Game 4 loss to the Spurs.
These past three seasons comprise half of the team's winning years as a franchise, and their first trips past the first round of the playoffs. But as of right now, it's as much a question of whether the team opts to extend Hollins as whether he takes an offer from another team. As Hollins awaits word from the franchise on whether or not he'll be given the option to return, it's clear that he thinks he's the man for the job:
"I have been able to take a group of young guys and build them into a team, teaching work ethic individually," Hollins told Yahoo! Sports. "I've held them accountable. Taught them how to work hard, what it means, and how to win. They were not a winning team. I showed them what it took to win."
"It's not just me. They wanted to win and they didn't know how. And they took to the instruction. Hopefully, as we go forward or whatever happens, if I'm in another situation, I'd be blessed to have a team that can do the same thing because that's half the battle. Finding a group that has a will to play hard and will to want to win and just need to be taught how to do it."
Hollins was backed up by many of his players and Spurs coach Gregg Popovich in the report. From center Marc Gasol:
"He's a great part of where we are today. We came from a 20-game-winning team to the team we are today. We are still growing. We have a lot of room for growth and we got to keep doing it as players, as a team, as coach."
Hollins downplayed interest from other teams in the report, but wouldn't conclusively say whether or not he would listen to opposing offers.
After Monday night's game, Mike Conley said it was too early to begin speculation in his postgame presser.