What's buzzing:

Hollins eager for surprising second shot with Nets

The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- Lionel Hollins isn't after power or prestige. Doesn't seem interested in fame and fortune.

''I'm very low maintenance and I'm actually embarrassed, I drove up and saw the big billboard with my picture on it and I'm like, 'Come on,''' he said Monday, referring to the front of Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

''But I just want to coach.''

After a year away from it that he feared might turn into two, Hollins finally has another opportunity.

The Nets hired him last week to replace Jason Kidd, who left for the Milwaukee Bucks after his bid for more power within the organization was denied. Hollins, who lost his job in Memphis and failed to land another one despite leading the Grizzlies to the Western Conference finals in his last season, suddenly ended up with a position he was considered for last year.

''As one gets older, you don't know if the opportunity's ever going to come back around again and to have this opportunity is truly a blessing,'' Hollins said. ''And the way it came about is truly miracle-like and I'm very thankful.''

Hollins guided the Grizzlies to a 56-26 record in 2012-13 but his contract wasn't renewed after Memphis lost to San Antonio in the West finals. He had since interviewed for jobs in Denver, Cleveland and Minnesota, plus both teams in Los Angeles.

The Nets never formally interviewed him last year, but general manager Billy King had done plenty of research before hiring Kidd. When he needed to conduct another coaching search after only one season, he turned quickly to Hollins, hiring him after they met twice last week.

King said Hollins' teams in Memphis reminded him of the Chicago Bulls under Tom Thibodeau, remaining difficult to play even when they lost key players to injuries.

''If you look at all his Memphis teams, they got better every year,'' King said. They played hard. When Rudy Gay got hurt, they continued to win. So didn't matter if players were in or out, they just played consistently and I think that's a testament to his system and how he coaches.''

Yet the Grizzlies weren't interested in keeping him when they came under new ownership and management in Hollins' final season, even after he led them to a franchise-record 214 victories. So he's looking forward to building a good relationship with King, who will welcome that after an occasionally rocky year with Kidd before his departure.

''To have people over you that are on the same page, they're allowing you to focus solely on what you have to do, because it takes a lot of energy,'' Hollins said. ''And it's important, it's important to have somebody that trusts your judgment and trusts what you say.''

Hollins stayed busy during his year away, working in TV and radio and most importantly getting some extra time with his family. He was there when his son, Austin, won most Most Outstanding Player honors after leading Minnesota to the NIT championship in April.

He was beginning to consider how he would spend another year out of the work when he got the call from the Nets.

''Two Saturdays ago, this job wasn't open and I'm sitting at home waiting on the L.A. Lakers to make a decision, and if they make a decision the other way, I'm out of the league for another year again,'' Hollins said. ''So it was right there on the verge.''

Instead, he takes over a team that reached the second round of the playoffs, would have a strong core if Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett return, and Brook Lopez and Deron Williams come back healthy after surgeries, and has the allure of a major market.

Not a bad landing spot after appearing he'd be sitting still again.

''I'm here to try to develop a consistent championship contender,'' Hollins said. ''That's why I'm excited, because this gives me the best possibility for that. Anything else is just gravy.''

Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Hockey
View Comments (13)
  • BDL 25: The Lakers venture into the post-Kobe era

    BDL 25: The Lakers venture into the post-Kobe era

    Brandon Ingram introduces himself to the world. The NBA offseason has brought many changes to rosters, coaching staffs, and the list of championship contenders. For the first time since 1995, the Los Angeles Lakers will open a season without Kobe … More »

    Ball Don't Lie - 1 hour 34 minutes ago
  • At NBA media day, concern for country over concern for team

    NBA players aren't just worried about their teams as they start a new season. Anthony was among the highest-profile and most outspoken players following the killing of black men by police in Louisiana and Minnesota in July, joining friends and … More »

    AP - Sports - 8 hours ago
  • AP Interview: LeBron says "a personal goal" to match Jordan

    Long flattered to be mentioned in the same company with Jordan and other NBA legends, James has been hesitant to publicly acknowledge that he wants to be remembered as the greatest in league history. ''It's a personal goal,'' James told The … More »

    AP - Sports - 8 hours ago
  • New look, same focus for Warriors

    New look, same focus for Warriors

    Michael Lee of the Vertical reports from Golden State's media day as the retooled Warriors ready for a run at a second title in three years. … More »

    Yahoo Sports Videos - 12 hours ago
  • Ty Lawson hoping to rebuild image, career in Sacramento

    Ty Lawson is trying to rebuild his image - along with his NBA career. Following a tumultuous year in which he was arrested twice for DUI and entered alcohol rehab, lost his starting job with the Houston Rockets and spent the final 13 games of the … More »

    AP - Sports - 13 hours ago