Shortly after news broke that the Detroit Pistons fired head coach Maurice Cheeks, it was reported that high atop the list of potential replacements was former Memphis Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins.
It seems that the interest is mutual. Hollins reportedly told Comcast SportsNet Northwest that he was intrigued by the opening.
Coach Lionel Hollins tells @CSNNW "Of course I'm interested" in the Detroit head coach job. Though he has not communicated with them, yet.— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) February 9, 2014
This report is backed up by Sam Amick of USA Today, who was the first to report that the Pistons were interested in reaching out to the currently unemployed Hollins to take over mid-season.
So who takes Cheeks' place? That much remains to be seen, but former Memphis Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins is known to be very interested in the job and it appears he would be willing to take on this challenge at midseason.
Hollins, to review, was not re-signed by the Grizzlies last summer after five seasons despite having taken Memphis to the Western Conference Finals for the first time in franchise history. He is no stranger to taking over midway through a season, as he took over for the fired Marc Iavaroni during the 2008-09 campaign.
There is still a lot of unknowns about what is happening in Detroit, but the hiring of a head coach could provide a lot of clues. Early indications are that the decision to fire Cheeks was carried out by owner Tom Gores while current president of basketball operations Joe Dumars argued that Cheeks deserved more time.
If the Pistons hire Hollins then it would stand to reason that 1. Joe Dumars job could be safe for this season and beyond 2. There will not be a major shakeup to the roster.
Two weeks ago when Gores spoke to the media, he seemed to imply that the major issues were not one of roster composition but of coaching a preparation.
“These young men work really hard. It’s our job to make sure these guys are at their maximum, and I don’t think they’re at their maximum,” Gores said, according to the Detroit News.
But, again, this speculation is slightly premature as there is no indication that talks have begun between the team and Hollins.