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Billy King praises Lionel Hollins for pushing individuals to play as a team

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In an interview to mark the end of the regular season, Billy King praised Lionel Hollins' coaching to Sarah Kustok, saying the veteran coach had pushed players out of their "comfort zone" and got them to respond, particularly citing his work with Brook Lopez.

In the interview, King repeatedly brought up how the team had to be molded from players who often were more  about individual performance. He didn't cite specifics and he implied there were difficulties and a need for give and take between his coach and his players.

Here are some excerpts...

On why it took so long for the team to come together...

"We had some injuries. We adjusted. I think when we got Thaddeus, we got into a little bit of a groove. Ad it was a perfect time to do so at the end of the season."

On what he liked the most...

"I liked the fact that Lionel pushed these guys. He pushed them hard. He pushed them to a place where they may not have been comfortable. I think guys responded well. I think Brook responded tremendously. I think Deron responded, Jarrett, I think a lot of our guys understood what he was trying to get to. And so I liked the way that they bounced back and really became a team. That's what Lionel was really pushing for, is for us to become a team, about helping one another, and sacrificing mainly for the Brooklyn Nets and not for individual accomplishments."

On the team adjusting to Lionel and vice versa...

"The hardest thing is when you have veteran guys who have been in the league and you have veteran guys because sometimes the coach will try to get them to get out of their comfort zone.  I think Lionel pushed and prodded to get Brook to rebound more, to do things he hadn't done since probably since his rookie year. And I think Lionel gave in and realized that Brook is a jump-shooting big man, so he allowed him to shoot the jump shot a little bit. So I think there was a lot of give-and-take on both sides.

"I think our young guys ... Bojan started out good, then had a little rocky stretch, came back. Markel struggled a little early, because of injuries. They all really just grew and supported each other throughout the year."


On his biggest disappointment...


"I think some games we lost out confidence and didnt stay together as a group at certain times. I think guys went their individual ways. But i think the biggest thing is that guys came back."