A somewhat strange, yet interesting note from the Grizzlies Game 2 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder. After the Grizzlies dropped the Thunder, evening the series at 1-1, Memphis announced that they had parted ways with assistant coach Barry Hecker.
Yes, in the middle of the series...after a Grizzlies win!
The Grizzlies didn't make a big deal of the firing, and no one really paid all that much attention to the move. After all -- no offense to Hecker, but... -- it was only Barry Hecker.
Today on his radio show, Chris Vernon revealed the truth behind the firing and, well, it's just as strange as you would imagine.
Got the story on why Grizzlies fired asst coach Barry Hecker in the middle of 2nd round.Tune in— Chris Vernon (@ChrisVernonShow) May 13, 2013
Yes, he did, and here's how it all transpired:
According to @chrisvernonshow, the Grizzlies fired asst. coach Barry Hecker after Game 2 win b/c he "got into it" with Lionel & a OKC fan.— Tom Lorenzo (@TomLorenzo) May 13, 2013
Hecker has hired a lawyer, after being fired in the middle of the playoffs. This is comical. And crazy.— Tom Lorenzo (@TomLorenzo) May 13, 2013
Lionel hired Hecker in 2008. Was fired after Grizzlies Game 2 win. There's your no-BS Hollins. Verno notes they've been friends for 25 yrs.— Tom Lorenzo (@TomLorenzo) May 13, 2013
And there you have it.
So, Hecker and Hollins had been going at it -- the reason? We have no idea. And the straw that eventually broke the camel's back was when Hecker got into it with an OKC fan.
The note here is that Hollins, a hard-nosed guy, was not willing to let any bickering or distractions get in the way of the ultimate goal: winning and NBA Title. And if it meant firing his friend and colleague, so be it.
A hat tip to Hollins on the move.