Nets coach Hollins says year away offers new perspective

Mon Jul 7, 2014 4:31pm EDT
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(Reuters) - Brooklyn Nets coach Lionel Hollins believes his year away from the bench will help him during the 2014-15 National Basketball Association season.

Hollins, introduced to the media on Monday after being hired last week to replace Jason Kidd, worked the past season as a TV commentator after parting ways with the Memphis Grizzlies following four full seasons as their head coach.

"I was able to stay connected to the game and see the changes and how the game was changing and how I wanted to move forward if I got another opportunity," Hollins told reporters at Barclays Center, the home of the Nets.

"It's just helped me grow, and helped me understand a lot of the teams," added Hollins. "It just gives me better insight."

Hollins, 60, has also seen the game as an NBA point guard, having played for five different teams over a 10-year career that included an NBA title with Portland in 1977.

The Brooklyn job became available last week after Kidd was denied a request for authority over Brooklyn player personal decisions following his first season as a head coach.

The Milwaukee Bucks sent a pair of future second-round draft picks to the Nets to allow Kidd out of his contract, so the Bucks could hire him to a lucrative deal.

Hollins said he was happy to focus on directing the players on the floor.

"That's all I want to do. I'm a basketball coach. I don't want to do (general manager) Billy King's job. I don't want to do anybody else's job in the organization but the one I'm hired to do," said Hollins.   Continued...

Lionel Hollins during the fourth quarter in Game 3 of their NBA Western Conference final playoff basketball series in Memphis, Tennessee May 25, 2013.  REUTERS/Mike Stone