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Mike Conley: Lionel Hollins would’ve been a “big reason” to look at Nets

Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

BROOKLYN, N.Y. - Prior to Wednesday night's matchup between the Nets and Grizzlies, reporters asked Free-Agent-to-be Mike Conley about the upcoming offseason and whether he would consider the Nets as a potential suitor.

It's been no secret that the Nets are interested in Conley, especially since they lack arsenal at the point guard position. It's also no secret that Lionel Hollins and Mike Conley have a good relationship, once described as a "second father figure."

In an interview with Scoop Jackson back in March 2015, Conley discussed how tough it was to see Lionel leave Memphis.

In response to a Jackson's question about losing Hollins, Conley Jr. said.

Conley Jr.: Well, to be honest, it was tough, first off. It was tough to see Lionel go. He was like a second father figure almost for me. But at the same time, when it was done, it was done. We couldn't take it back; (his firing) happened. (Dave) Joerger is our coach, and the only way for us to continue to get better is to jump over to Joerger's ship and say, "Hey, we're with you. We're behind you 100 percent" and try not to forget about Lionel, never forget about him, but use what he taught us and apply it to what Joerger is teaching us going forward and keep this thing moving.

Jackson: You came in the league without Lionel and you're probably going to leave without him.

Conley Jr.: I still gotta do my job.

Still, Conley's major concern - like most - is winning.

There's no turning back now and the Nets can only hope that Conley, and other free agents, might still be enticed by the idea of playing in Brooklyn. If Hollins and winning were major priorities to him signing here, then the chances might be slim.