The Brooklyn Nets are immediately moving on after the often troubled and always controversial Jason Kidd era by hiring veteran mentor Lionel Hollins as head coach. Brooklyn is reportedly offering a four-year contract worth roughly $18M.
Marc Stein of ESPN.COM tweeted the update on the Nets coaching front:
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
While the Nets official twitter account confirmed the deal late early Thursday:
The Brooklyn Nets have reached an agreement in principle with Lionel Hollins to become the team's new head coach. — Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) July 2, 2014
The 60-year-old is a former all star who was named to the All-Star team once and a member of the 1976-77 champion team Portland Trail Blazers.
He paid his dues as an assistant coach for Arizona State in college and Phoenix Suns from 1985 to 1995 before landing an interim head coaching job with Vancouver Grizzlies in 1999-2000. When the franchise moved to Memphis, Hollins was hired again as an interim coach in 2004.
Hollins finally got his big break in 2008 when he was named the head coach. He led the squad to a 41-25 record in the lockout-shortened season in 2011-2012 for the franchise’s best winning percentage in their history. He was replaced by rookie coach Dave Joerger in the 2012-2013 season despite leading the squad to the Western Conference Finals in the postseason that year.
Hollins will take over a Nets’ coaching position previously held by Kidd, who was embroiled in a big controversy involving an apparent power grab with general manager Billy King.