Grizzlies part ways with coach

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Memphis coach Lionel Hollins was bid farewell after leading the team to its best record in history.  FILE/ASSOCIATED PRESS
FILE/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Memphis coach Lionel Hollins was bid farewell after leading the team to its best record in history.

The Memphis Grizzlies have decided to part with the winningest coach in the franchise’s history, telling Lionel Hollins they will not be renewing his contract coming off their first trip to the Western Conference finals.

Hollins confirmed Mon­day night that he had been told his contract would not be renewed. He had no further comment.

Grizzlies CEO Jason Levien said the team decided after talks with Hollins and his agent to go in a different direction and thanked the veteran coach for his work with the franchise since its start in Vancouver.

Hollins, who won an NBA title as a player with Port­land in 1977, had been with this franchise for 10 of its first 12 seasons. He was the interim head coach first in 1999-00 when he replaced Brian Hill after a 4-18 start in Vancouver, and again for four games in 2004-05 after Hubie Brown resigned. He is 214-201 overall and 18-17 in the playoffs.

His future with the team has been unsettled since the Spurs swept the Grizzlies in the West finals. He led Mem­phis to a better record each season, including a franchise-best 56-26 record this season.

Hollins said a day after the Grizzlies were swept that he wanted to stay in Mem­phis. He is expected to interview with the Clippers and the Nuggets this week.

PISTONS: Maurice Cheeks is getting a third shot to be an NBA head coach.

Cheeks became the Pis­tons’ fourth coach in six seasons Monday. He was 284-286 in the regular season and 5-11 during three postseasons while leading the Portland Trail Blazers and Philadelphia 76ers, a team he helped win an NBA title as a point guard.

Detroit fired Lawrence Frank in April, a day after finishing 29-53. Frank was 54-94 in two seasons with the Pistons.

The Pistons hope Cheeks can help them snap a four-season postseason drought.

HAWKS: Quin Snyder, a former assistant coach with the Lakers and 76ers and former coach at Missouri, has been hired to join new coach Mike Budenholzer’s staff as an assistant. Snyder spent last season as an assistant with CSKA Moscow.

• The Hawks and two other teams have been fined an undisclosed amount by the NBA for tampering. A league spokesman didn’t identify the clubs or the fines, but the Hawks said they were one of them and that they “fully understand and respect the NBA’s decision.”

The team recently sent a letter to potential ticket-buyers promoting its chances of signing Chris Paul and Dwight Howard, who will become free agents July 1. Teams are not allowed to discuss their interest in players who are under contract to other teams.

BLAYLOCK ARRESTED: For­mer NBA All-Star Daron “Mookie” Blaylock is out of the hospital and in jail, charged with vehicular homicide in a car crash south of Atlanta.

Blaylock is also charged with driving on a suspended license, making an improper lane change and crossing the median in the collision that killed a 43-year-old woman in Jonesboro on May 31. Blaylock surrendered Monday and is being held without bond.

Blaylock’s attorney has said he blacked out just before the crash. Authorities have said Blaylock was wanted elsewhere for not appearing in court on a DUI charge.
The 46-year-old was a first-
round draft pick by the New Jersey Nets out of Oklahoma in 1989. He played for the Atlanta Hawks, Golden State Warriors and in the 1994 NBA All-Star game.


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