The Brooklyn Nets are moving quickly past the bizarre ending to Jason Kidd's head coaching tenure, as they have hired former Memphis Grizzlies lead man Lionel Hollins to be their next head coach. They closed in on an agreement throughout the day Wednesday, reports ESPN's Marc Stein.
Nets closing in on the hiring of Lionel Hollins, ESPN has learned. Deal is expected to be completed today— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 2, 2014
Nets and Hollins are in the final stages of hammering out a multiyear deal that will pay former Grizz coach in excess of $4 million annually— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 2, 2014
Hollins rejoins the coaching ranks after sitting out the 2013-14 season. His parting with the Grizzlies in the summer of 2013 came after arguably his most successful season, a 56-win campaign that saw Memphis lose to the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference Finals.
Brooklyn had its eye on Hollins when general manager Billy King considered firing Kidd after a rough first third of the 2013-14 season, and the team came back to Hollins once the Kidd situation deteriorated.
Hollins has a 214-201 record in three separate head coaching stints with the Grizzlies franchise and has gone 18-17 in the postseason.
NBA Free Agency
NBA Free Agency
Kidd -- who won 49 games in his first season as a head coach -- demanded a more powerful role that included front office duties and left for the Milwaukee Bucks once it was clear that Russian ownership in Brooklyn wouldn't give him such a role. The Nets received two second-round picks from the Bucks in exchange for allowing Kidd to be let out of the final three years of his contract.
Former Denver Nuggets coach George Karl and Brooklyn native Mark Jackson were also reportedly considered possibilities to take over in Kidd's place. Ettore Messina, a respected European coach who coached CSKA Moscow when Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov owned it, was also considered to be in the mix.
Hollins takes the Brooklyn opening after being considered for the head coaching openings with the Los Angeles Lakers and Cleveland Cavaliers. He was also offered an assistant opening with the Houston Rockets to work alongside Kevin McHale.