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Lionel Hollins sounds off on Rudy Gay trades, analytics


Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins is stirring up conversations in the NBA Twittersphere after taking to Memphis radio, and he was very candid about the Rudy Gay trade rumors going around and about advanced analytics.

About the Gay rumors, and the possibility that Rudy Gay could be traded during the season:

I like our team. I like the way we’ve grown and come up in the last few years… I would certainly, as a coach, like to keep our tam together and see where we go this year. If management decides after the season is over that they want to move somebody for whatever reason, we deal with that. But in the middle of the seasons, as successful as we are, it would be a big letdown.

it doesn’t matter what the reasoning is. I still would not like to have my team broken up in the middle of the season. For me, business decisions have been made, and we live with them… but that’s not my call, and it’s just the way it is. Everybody in charge has decisions to make, and they have to live with them.

When talking about the use of advanced analytics in NBA front offices, and the effect of analytics on the game:

We get hung up on statistics a little too much, and I think that’s a bad trait all over the league that’s taken place. And the media has done it because it’s easy to go to the stats to make a point or to build up a player or tear down a player. Just the analyzing, I see it every time listening to talk show radio. You’ve got guys spouting off stat after stat after stat. The bottom line is going out and contributing to your team for winning.

Kind of a weird move for Lionel here, knowing that John Hollinger, the Grizzlies' new VP of Basketball Operations, is Mr. Basketball Statistics, and that the team is shopping Rudy Gay around. Obviously Hollins is going to stick up for his guys, and he’s infamously stubborn — which is both a good quality and a bad quality for him — but one has to wonder if creating this sort of bad blood when his contract is up at the end of this season is such a great idea.

We’ve had conversation after conversation here at SoV about Hollins. There’s no way to deny that he’s had a big part to play in the turnaround of the team. He’s created a winning culture in the Grizzlies’ locker room, and his no-BS attitude has trickled onto the court and expresses itself with the way the team plays.

He’s also not always great at having the right guys on the floor at the right time — which, one could argue, along with injuries, cost the Grizzlies last year’s Clippers series — and he’s also infamous for having a doghouse sealed up tighter than NORAD in War Games. Once a player goes in there, it’s hard to get out.

It's hard to imagine this Grizzlies team being anything like what it is today without the presence of Lionel Hollins.

Anyways, go listen to the interview, because Hollins has a lot of things to say that are of interest to fans of the Grizzlies and fans of basketball in general.