The Nets were finally able to shift their full attention to their new head coach, Lionel Hollins, Monday morning at the Barclays Center. Although things haven't been picture perfect for the Nets and their off-season -- in fact they just edited Jason Kidd out of the official photo gallery of the practice facility presser -- Hollins released a breath of fresh air into the franchise. He won Monday's press conference.
Among the first things he said was how grateful he is to be head coach of the Brooklyn Nets, opening with, "I’m excited to be here, I know it’s a challenge but in order to be successful you have to go through challenges." Hollins also said how he was "humbled" by being out of the league this past season, but has stayed connected to the game by doing television work for NBATV and SiriusXMNBA.
When asked about the Nets as a team, he emphasized the 'core' Nets players such as Deron Williams, Brook Lopez, and Joe Johnson. "When I look at this team, I see veteran players that can score. I want to play at a quicker pace, even quicker than last year, but you know, I don’t wanna run up the court and jack up shots, I want to be aggressive." It's a bit similar to what Jason Kidd had planned for the Nets last year, but due to personnel and injuries, the fast break game didn't materialize the way he would've liked.
His TV and radio work this past season paid off for Hollins. He noted how the Nets should be 100% healthy this season, a big improvement over last. "Watching them, they played small ball a lot with Paul at the four. I never thought they were at full strength."
Early in the press conference, Hollins seemed to implicitly throw a jab at Kidd by saying, "I’m a basketball coach, I don’t wanna do Billy’s job, I’m very low maintenance I just wanna coach.. I don’t wanna do anyone’s job that isn’t mine." When asked if he has talked to any of the main players, Hollins responded, " I did speak to Deron Williams, I'll speak to him when he gets back to New York, right now he’s in Dallas. It would be premature for me to talk to Paul Pierce, since he's a free agent, I'll let Billy do that."
When asked about possible assistant coaches he may bring along, he answered with "I don’t have any updates, but I've reached out to different people, telling a lot 'No.' Trying to put together the staff that fits best."
He emphasized a key piece of the search was going to be personality; making sure everybody is on the same page ... "works together, comes to work everyday,and be for each other." Something that was clearly an issue with the Nets last year after early friction between Kidd and Lawrence Frank that led to Frank's "re-assignment."
It became quite evident that things will be different. Nobody should fear their job being stolen, and big ego's won't abide well with Hollins. As for whether it will be a success or not, that's to be determined. Hollins will begin his work as head coach of the Brooklyn Nets this week. He'll fly down to Orlando to check out the young players on the Nets' summer league roster.
- VIDEO: Lionel Hollins introduced as Nets head coach - The Brooklyn Game
- Lionel Hollins introduced to less fanfare - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game
- Lionel Hollins with Sarah Kustok (Video) - YES Network
- Sarah Kustok with Nets GM Billy King (Video) - YES Network
- Lionel Hollins answers questions from the press (Video) - YES Network
- Lionel Hollins introduced as the Nets head coach (Video) - YES Network
- Hollins eager for shot to coach the Nets - AP
- Brooklyn Nets introduce Lionel Hollins - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Hollins: D-Will needs to regain confidence - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Hollins has to sell Pierce, Garnett on BK - Ohm Youngmisuk - ESPN New York
- Lionel Hollins and the Brooklyn Nets are a suitable match - Dave D'Alessandro - Star-Ledger
- Hollins wants more fast-paced Nets style, doesn’t want GM job - Fred Kerber - New York Post
- Lionel Hollins is the anti-Kidd, the grownup the Nets need - Steve Serby - New York Post
- What next season’s Nets roster looks like - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Nets’ Low-Key Introduction Reflects New Coach - Zach Schonbrun - New York Times
- Nets Coach Hollins Says Year Away Offers New Perspective - Reuters
- Lionel Hollins, new Nets coach, jabs Jason Kidd in introductory press conference - Jim Baumbach - Newsday
- Lionel Hollins says it's important to get Deron Williams healthy and fit - Neil Best - Newsday
Lionel Hollins brings solid basketball resume to his Nets job - John Jeansomme - Newsday
- Lionel Hollins helping Nets forget about Jason Kidd - Stefan Bondy - New York Daily News
- Lionel Hollins plays up differences with Jason Kidd in Nets presentation - Mitch Abramson - New York Daily News
- The Nets Have a New Coach, but Do They Have a Gameplan? - Alex Raskin - Wall Street Journal
- Lionel Hollins, Nets perfect pairing after both parties cast aside by exes - Chris Mannix - Sports Illustrated
- Nets' Lionel Hollins says 'I don't want to do Billy King's job' but wasn't ripping Jason Kidd - Charles Curtis - Star-Ledger
- Nets’ Hollins has something to prove - John Torenli - Brooklyn Daily Eagle