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Dear Grizzlies: Quit Screwing Around and Re-sign Lionel Hollins

Lionel Hollins is in a contract year. The Grizzlies have already set a new franchise record for wins in a season, and the season isn't over yet. What gives?


Lionel Hollins is a guy who speaks his mind, even when maybe it's not the best idea. He was also the Western Conference Coach of the Month for November and for February. His distrust of rookie backup point guards has led to the craziest carousel of straight-off-the-couch March and April signings I've ever seen (looking at you, Agent Zero). The Grizzlies, with him as the coach, have turned into one of the best defensive teams in the league.

At some point, doesn't it make sense to sign the guy to a contract extension? Why wait until the end of the season? Why not just get it over with, bite the bullet, and sign the guy to, I dunno, a 3-year contract?

"But Kevin," you're saying. "There are coaches on the market right now who might be even better with the current Grizzlies' roster!" There are good coaches currently available. Stan Van Gundy is the first one that comes to mind. But.

Since when is a 50+ win season not good enough for the Memphis Grizzlies? And why take the risk of bringing in another coach while things are going so well for this group of players and this coaching staff?

"But Kevin," you're saying. "We have to wait and see what they do in the playoffs to know whether Hollins is really the guy to take them to a title."

Umm. I tell you what: I'll concede that Hollins blew game 7 of last year's Clippers series by blowing the lineups. He did. It's pretty indisputable. But you know what? Mike Conley had the flu that game. Zach Randolph was playing on one knee. Rudy Gay was playing -- something that wasn't the case the previous year when the Grizzlies were one triple overtime away from the Western Conference Finals.

One 3OT away. From the Conference Finals.

Last year ended badly. No question. This year has been a roller coaster, with high highs and low lows (remember the blowout losses to the Mavericks, the Clippers, and the Spurs all in one week? Remember beating the undefeated Knicks on ESPN while Rasheed Wallace had a nuclear trash-talk meltdown?).

What's the point of keeping Hollins coaching for his job all the way through the end of the season? Is it going to positively affect the way he coaches, or is it going to maybe make him not take risks he would otherwise take?

The Grizzlies should just stop being stupid and re-sign the guy. A world in which coaching a team to the best regular season record in franchise history doesn't mean you get to coach the team the next season is a world that doesn't make much sense. Not to me.

What do you think?