Geoff Calkins of the Commercial Appeal shed some light on the breakdown in the relationship between Lionel Hollins and the front office of the Memphis Grizzlies in some tweets this morning. Tweets that, while not anything shocking, make it even less surprising that the Grizzlies didn't bring Hollins back.
Stop saying Hollins dismissal was due to "analytics." Itwas due to their inability to have a constructive working relationship of any sort— Geoff Calkins (@geoff_calkins) June 11, 2013
Levien wanted to build a relationship with Hollins. Hollins, thinking he had all the cards, essentially told Levien to stay out of his way.— Geoff Calkins (@geoff_calkins) June 11, 2013
Small example: Levien wanted to go play golf with Hollins after the season in Florida, see if they could connect. Hollins had no interest.— Geoff Calkins (@geoff_calkins) June 11, 2013
Even though relations were tense all season, Hollins said in post season presser that they communicated "too much."— Geoff Calkins (@geoff_calkins) June 11, 2013
Clearly, Hollins doesn't have to be best friends with everybody at the Griz office to be able to be the head coach. But this kind of tension--a coach who thinks the front office has no business telling him what to do, and a front office that wants to be able to have an open, communicative relationship with their coach (who is, after all, an employee of said F.O.)--is a recipe for a toxic situation.
If Hollins thought he had all the leverage, he was apparently wrong. His gruffness and frankness were two qualities that endeared him to media and fans alike, but as we've seen time and time again this year, there are moments when being nice to people would've gotten Hollins a lot farther.