June 11, 2013 / 1:13 AM / 6 years ago

Hollins will not return as head coach, say Grizzlies

Memphis Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins directs his team against the San Antonio Spurs 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

(Reuters) - Memphis Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins will not be offered a new contract and is no longer with the club, the National Basketball Association team said on Monday.

Hollins’ contract was scheduled to expire on June 30, but his departure from the organization was effective immediately, the team said in a statement.

Hollins had been coach of the franchise at various times over the past seven seasons, serving as interim coach for 60 games in 1999-2000 when the club were in Vancouver, and had a four-game stint during the 2004-05 season in Memphis.

He became the head coach during the 2008-09 season and has been in Memphis since.

Hollins had a 214-201 record, including a franchise best 56-26 this past season.

Speculation about Hollins’ job swirled after the Grizzlies were swept in four games by the San Antonio Spurs for the Western Conference championship.

After finishing second to San Antonio in the Southwest Division, the Grizzlies had beaten the higher seeded Los Angeles Clippers in six games and shocked the top-seeded Oklahoma City Thunder in five to reach the conference finals.

“After a thorough internal process, which included conversations with Lionel and his representatives, we decided as an organization to move in a different direction,” said Jason Levien, Grizzlies CEO & managing partner in a statement.

Reporting by Gene Cherry in Raleigh, North Carolina; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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