Thursday, June 06, 2013

Do The Right Thing

Memphis has a history of not treating successful black coaches fairly. In the college ranks the winningest coach to date in Memphis was also the lowest paid. Even taking inflation into consideration. He should have been paid seven times more back then. Coach Hollins is facing some of those same demons in 2013. That Coach Finch did back then Coach Pastner has never beat a ranked team in the four years he has been head coach. In spite of a top notch recruiting class every year. Yet he is among the highest paid college coaches in the nation. Every time he wins 20 games. The university gives him a raise and a contract extension. We finally have a winning, top tier, professional team in this city and the management won't secure the coach..

At this point I'm not sure Lionel Hollins should even stay in Memphis. Especially if they don't give him a standard contract. Don't sign a short term deal for less than four years, with them handling the trades and signings. Take it if you get a four year offer at Brooklyn or the Clippers. Go to LA and let a young Chris Paul and Blake Griffin or go to the East and let JoJo Johnson and Brook Lopez win you a championship. Lionel Hollins shouldn't have to bow and scrape to keep his job. Has Greg Popovich' job at San Antonio ever been in jeopardy because he didn't smile or give a good interview? We're hiring a head coach not a doorman.

We've been down this road before. And Memphis made the wrong choice back then. Sports wise and millions of dollars and several disappointments later. We haven't rebounded fron that mistake yet. Some Memphians still don't go to the games. That stain is still on the program to this day. Lionel Hollins has earned a new contract. Don't let history repeat itself. Do the right thing this time.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

They didn't.

10:12 AM  
Anonymous Grizz Fan said...

When Levien took over the team he met with season ticket holders and the 1st, 4th, 5th, 7th, 9th, and 12th question was: "when are you signing Hollins to a long term contract?" He responded with an answer like many following that didn't exhibit a vote of confidence that they ever had plans to keep him: "we appreciate what he's done for the organization and think he's an asset." That is the biggest BS answer, but quite typical of someone dodging the truthful answer. He did it at least 5 other times over the course of the remainder of the season. During this time Hollins said that he didn't want to discuss the matter because he was concerned with the season at hand, but was hopeful he'd be retained. Because the team continued to succeed and get more national attention, the question continued to come up. At that point Levien decided that he no longer wanted to discuss Hollins' contract status in the media...Hollins either.

At some point the FO was telling Hollins he was their guy and regardless of the outcome of the playoffs, they wanted to bring him back. We wouldn't know this had Hollins not gone public the day after Levien and Co. had lied to him to his face during a preliminary meeting to discuss the team. They let him walk from that meeting with the impression that they were going to begin contract negotiations with his agent. Then they leak two separate stories to the tune of: things don't look good because there are some philosophical differences (mind you, they were NEVER mentioned to Hollins in the meeting) and then they leaked another story of the run-in Hollins had with Hollinger during a practice. Why else would that story get written??? The Grizz FO wanted to affect public opinion, which was at an "all-time" high to re-sign Hollins in hopes the fanbase would turn on him. Again they underestimated his popularity and they NEVER expected that Hollins would publically defend his reputation after he had already publically said he wanted to remain the Grizz coach: "if they made me a fair offer, I'd sign it tomorrow."

So if you think Levien ALWAYS gave no comment, then his evil twin was talking all the damn time. Fact is, Levien had no plans to retain Hollins from the time he took over the team and realized he was so popular. He just wanted the media to write fluff stories about: Who is Jason Levien and be asked about his new favorite place to get ribs. Nobody cared about that because the team was well on it's way to having the best season in their history. All the while, they were making shady moves in the FO and making VERY questionable hires.

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