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Lionel Hollins on the NBA, money and pressure


Lionel Hollins is getting out more and becoming more outspoken.

Hollins talked Wednesday to the Sun Devils Fork Report, local radio guys out at Arizona State, his alma mater. He talked about his days at ASU, showing a prodigious memory. in the process, but he mostly talked about the NBA. And while he talked in general terms, it's hard to avoid surmising that he was referencing certain situations he's facing with the Nets.

Who might he be talking about here? Jason Kidd?

"I think it's up to players to play, coaches to coach, and management to do what they have to do to provide the talent for the coach for the great players that are on their team to help them go further. I think everybody, our society has moved towards now not a lot of loyalty, run for this, run for that, whether it be money, whether it be for to be with better players."

And with the biggest payroll in the NBA, who doesn't this apply to?

"I tell players all the time 'listen,when you walk out on that court, from the first day of training camp, money does not matter to you.  You have all this money, whatever that might be, but when you start running line drills, you start diving for loose balls and taking charges, money does not matter and it doesn't help you love the game more, it does help you play better. You are who you are and you  have to go out there continually to be consistently who you are'."

Anyone think he's referencing Deron Williams here?

"Too often, players get a big contract and think they have to do more, there are more expectations from the media, from the fans and certainly from the owner who 's paid him all that money.  So that player feels all that pressure and goes out and tries to do more. My job is to keep him grounded and where he's supposed to be within our team."

As Hollins summed up, "Those are all challenges that all coaches in all sports go through" ... and ones he's likely to be facing this season.