NBA playoffs: Grizzlies coach focused on Spurs, not his contract

Published May 23, 2013 5:56 pm

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Memphis, Tenn. • Lionel Hollins has been more successful than any Grizzlies coach and will be a free agent after June 30.

He has the Grizzlies in the Western Conference finals for the first time and has won more games with this team than any other coach.

He probably wouldn't have a problem getting another job, but is very happy with the one he has. And he's not worrying about what the future holds.

"I have a job," Hollins said. "I'm happy with where we are and excited about what we're doing. That's my only concern. Everything else is irrelevant."

New owners took over in November and decided to wait until after the season to see what they had before extending contracts. That has made Hollins a popular potential candidate for other openings.

Memphis needs Hollins' full postseason attention right now with the Grizzlies down 0-2 heading into Saturday's Game 3 against San Antonio. They rallied from an 0-2 deficit against the Clippers in the first round, becoming only the 10th team to win four straight and the first to win all four by double digits.

The challenge now is tougher because no NBA team has won two series in the same postseason after trailing 0-2.

Center Marc Gasol said Thursday that Hollins' focus on the task at hand definitely helps the Grizzlies concentrate only on the Spurs right now.

"We know that there's nothing we can do about it right now," Gasol said of Hollins' future in Memphis. "Eventually, that's going to come, and hopefully, it's going to be solved quickly after we do what we're supposed to do."

Dealing with adversity is nothing new for Hollins. The sixth selection overall in 1975 by Portland remembers having to wait to make sure his check had cleared in a career that included 673 games with five teams. He also has a championship starting for the Trail Blazers in 1977 when they won the NBA title despite starting the finals with an 0-2 deficit themselves.