The interview process for the vacant head coaching position with the Utah Jazz is about to get underway.
Earlier on Wednesday, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reported that the Jazz were granted permission to interview Chicago Bulls assistant coach, Adrian Griffin. Now, Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports is reporting another head coach that the Jazz could be interested in, and don’t need permission to talk to.
The Jazz, Cavs, Warriors & Wolves have shown interest in Lionel Hollins for head coach openings, a source said. The Lakers, Knicks have not.
— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) May 14, 2014
The rumor that the Jazz are showing interest in Hollins is obvious, and a bit surprising at the same time.
Hollins is a former NBA head coach and spent his last coaching gig when he guided the Memphis Grizzlies to the Western Conference Finals in the 2012-13′ season. Hollins began coaching in the NBA in the 1999-2000 season with the Vancouver Grizzlies.
Hollins coaching career got off to a rough start as he went 18-42 in his first season. After that one season in Vancouver, Hollins didn’t find another coaching gig until the 2004-05′ season with the now Memphis Grizzlies. Hollins coached four games and went 0-4. Not until midway through the 2008-09′ season, did Hollins get a steady gig as a head coach.
Hollins coached the Grizzlies from 2008 to the end of the 2012-13′ season. During that time, Hollins went 196-155 and led the Grizzlies to three playoff appearances where he held a 18-17 record.
The reason that the rumor of the Jazz being interested in Hollins is surprising, is because Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey is a believer in defense, and analytics. Hollins is a coach that is not so much a believer in the analytic side of things. As far as how things are on the defensive side for him as a coach, his Grizzlies team’s ranked 19th in defensive rating in the 09-10′ season, 9th in defensive rating in the 10-11′ season, 7th in defensive rating in the 11-12′ season, and 2nd in defensive rating in the 12-13′ season.
Defensively, Hollins could be a good fit for the Jazz, as the Jazz could use a huge boost on that side of the ball after ranking 29th in the league in defense this season. However, as mentioned before, Lindsey is huge on analytics and if Hollins is not a believer in that, the two could bump heads.
However, according to Jody Genessy, Utah Jazz beat writer for the Deseret News, the “interest” that the Jazz are rumored to be showing could be all for nothing.
From what I’ve heard, I’d personally be surprised if the Jazz hire a former NBA head coach. Still could happen, of course.
— Jody Genessy (@DJJazzyJody) May 14, 2014
With the NBA draft combine getting underway today in Chicago, a lot of NBA executives and coaches will be in town. Not only will the Jazz be looking at a lot of players to help fill their squad for next season, but they will also be fairly active in the coaching search as well. Two coaches today rumored to have interest or be interviewed by the Jazz, more is sure to follow soon.