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Nets replace Kidd with veteran Hollins

The Nets hired Lionel Hollins as the franchise's next head coach on Wednesday.
The Nets hired Lionel Hollins as the franchise's next head coach on Wednesday.
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Billy King went in the opposite direction this time. In his latest coaching search, King opted for a proven veteran, who experienced significant success with the Memphis Grizzlies.

On Wednesday, the Nets tabbed Lionel Hollins to replace former head coach Jason Kidd. Hollins, a former point guard himself, compiled a 214-201 record in several stints with the Grizzlies.

"I'm humbled," Hollins said. "The process to get back in the league was a long one. But I'm thankful to God because I believe this is the perfect fit for me."

Interestingly enough, Memphis chose not to retain him following a 56-26 2012-13 campaign in the Western Conference. The Grizzlies ultimately fell in the Conference Finals.

After sitting out a year, Hollins looks poised to make another mark. This time, King seems to have gotten it right. The Nets aggressively pursued Hollins, effectively swapping head coaches while receiving two second-round draft picks in the process, in a matter of five days.

“I want to thank the Nets ownership and [Billy King] for this opportunity,” Hollins said in a statement. “It has been a long process to get back into the league, and I believe that Billy and I will have a very successful working relationship.”

Hollins built his Memphis program around twin towers Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph. The Nets, similarly, will need to build their 2014-15 roster around centers Brook Lopez and Kevin Garnett. The former Grizzlies coach also spurred the development of point guard Mike Conley, who is now one of the league’s most unheralded guards.

"If you look at track record and what he did in Memphis, they consistently got better every year," King said in an ESPN Radio interview.

The Nets hired a coach who has experienced success with a similar blueprint. Unfortunately for the fan base, the signing came one year too late.

Kidd underwent a tumultuous rookie season in which the Nets started out rotten, emerged as contenders, and then folded in the second round of the playoffs in five games.

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