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Lionel Hollins talks growing up, helping Brooklyn Nets become "better men"

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Jonathan Daniel

In an interview with Lenn Robbins, Lionel Hollins goes far beyond x's and o's, focusing mainly on how he wants his players to become better men.

"I think it really helps from the perspective of, if you have higher character, and if you have a more mature view of what life is, you’re not caught up in, ‘Well, I didn’t get enough shots today. Well, I didn’t shoot the ball well today.’ Hollins told Robbins. "It’s not about that. You just got out and compete and do as well as you can."

Hollins said he draws a lot from growing up, not knowing his father, losing his mother early in life, being raised by his grandmother and trying to get around the anger.  His basketball coaches were his mentors, his father figures.

"They were the ones that kept me out of trouble, were tough on me, gave me discipline, gave me guidance and I just think it’s important to me, from that legacy, to basically give back and to help these young men who come in.’’

The wide-ranging interview also touched on what Hollins told Brook Lopez while the two were having breakfast in Orlando.

"I was just telling Brook this morning, ‘You know, you can be a nice guy but when you get on the court, you got to be a little nasty and have an edge and compete,’’ Hollins said on Friday. "That’s what I did. I took everything personally.’’