You must've misread my comment. I don't view it as a line in the sand. I was simply explaining why you are "hearing this talk of a two year Grizzlies team" (your words).
The Grizzlies can continue to be successful beyond two years. But, my point was that the core personnel of this team (Marc, Mike, Tony and Zach) has just a two-year lifespan together, IF Tony is re-signed.
Marc and Mike will be with us beyond 2015, but I doubt Zach and Tony will. Zach's contract is up in two years, and the likelihood of us signing another extension with him is low because of the combo of his age at that time and the dollars he will likely be looking to get in what will likely be his final contract.
If Tony is re-signed this offseason, it will likely be on a 2-year contract, meaning he would be gone when zach's contract is up.
Teams can definitely be transitioned and stay successful. But the personnel core of those 4 will almost definitely not be together after two more years. Whether or not the grizz are still a perennial post-season team will depend on future draft picks, free agent acquisitions, etc. to build around Marc and Mike.
There is a big difference between Levien wanting to use Hollins as a puppet and dictate his every move, and wanting Hollins to at least be open to a collaborative working relationship. Hollins sealed his own fate. In his own words, "you cant have champagne tastes on a beer budget," but in this case "champagne tastes" is "a new contract" and "beer budget" is "completely ignoring your boss."
And while I agree that it doesnt have to be a two-year life span for the grizzlies to be successful, this team, as it is currently comprised, absolutely has a two-year life span. Randolph has two years left with the grizz (if he isnt traded before then) and, after that two years, he will be 34 years old, with 12 years of mileage on his big man tires. Similarly with Allen, assuming we re-sign him (which we should - to a reasonable 2-3 year contract), he will be 33 in two seasons, but his knees will be turning 80.
Marc and Conley are the present and future of the Grizz, and what ownership puts in place around them and how young talents like Davis and Wroten are developed will determine the team's future success. But, when people talk about this team having a two-year life span, "this team" refers to the core of Mike, Marc, Tony and Zach.
great point on Joerger. Most casual (or even diehard) fans don't understand just how important he has been in this team's turnaround and success. His defensive schemes are primarily responsible for the Grizz becoming nationally recognized and respected as one of the best defensive teams in the NBA.
Don't forget, Hollins was a respected assistant coach before he got tapped to be the head coach. If the same were to happen to Joerger, it wouldn't be a case of him "starting at the top," as @Iggy suggested. He's worked his way up the coaching chain, just like Hollins, just like Spoelstra, just like...I don't know, pretty much every head coach. Whether or not he would be successful in the role - who knows? But if he isn't, it certainly wouldn't be for lack of experience or resume.
Regardless of the reasoning behind the lack of progress toward resigning Hollins, I completely agree that he is a diamond in the rough and a coach worth holding onto - with several caveats. I'm doubtful those caveats will be met, which is why I'm ultimately pessimistic about Hollins' return to the Grizz next year.
In no particular order:
1) Be more willing to adapt to personnel and front office decisions. As a very public extension of the front office, a head coach absolutely HAS to be a company man and, at least publicly, support his bosses' decisions.
2) Develop young talent. Hollins needs to do what he did so well with Conley and give young players a chance to develop into future contributors by inspiring confidence and teaching. Look at what Pop has done with players like Green, Leonard and Joseph. How can you not at least give Ed Davis a little more run when Arthur wasnt getting it done? More importantly, Wroten should have absolutely gotten every single one of Dooling's minutes. There's no way he could've been worse, and the upside could've been much bigger. Likewise, Leuer shouldve gotten Daye's (albeit limited) minutes.
3) Not be so stubborn with your approach (lineups). We know Gasol and Conley are his favorites (and they should be), but he needs to prove he can be flexible, put his ego aside and do what is best for the team. Had he not stuck to his guns with Prince for so long, and put QPon in the starting lineup (or if he had put Allen on Parker full-time sooner), I think we would have seen a major difference in that SA series. Not necessarily a different outcome, but certainly not a sweep.
At points, J-Val, oldtimeplayer and you all suggested race being factor in this. They flat-out said it, and you said the following:
"Then, because of 'philosophical differences,' which might be interpreted as 'he’s too uppity' or 'he doesn’t know his place' – he’s replaced by some white newbie whose softer around the edges and is in the position he's in because the black coach promoted him."
Symbolism or not, I don't know how that is NOT considered the suggestion of race as a contributing factor.
I'm definitely not trying to stir the pot with you - I was just pointing out that, too many times, nationally and locally, sports or otherwise, race is assigned as the default answer to the question of motive or blame for personnel decisions. That's not to say racism isnt still rearing its ugly head more than it should (which should be "never"), but it isn't behind everything, and I certainly don't believe it is behind this. Hollins is a great coach and, by all accounts, one of high moral fiber. But his stubbornness and seeming unwillingness to adapt to new scenarios (mgmt, roster changes, etc.) will be the main reasoning behind his no longer being with the team. If that even happens.
Leave it up to our great city to take an obvious case of philosophical differences and boil it down to the selectively convenient race card. Yes, Hollins is black. Yes, Levien, Hollinger and pera are white. Hey, guess what? Fratello got canned after a 49 win season. He was white. The man - or men, depending on who you think was responsible - Jerry west (or heisley)? Both white.
Hollins has a fantastic résumé with the grizz. But, just as we cannot 100% blame the coach when a team is bad, he can't get 100% of the credit either. The breakouts from Gasol and Conley, Randolph shunning his "offensive black hole" moniker and Allen developing into a premiere perimeter defender deserve some credit. Lets also not gloss over the fact that joerger is widely regarded as the one responsible for the team's defensive status - not Hollins.
As for Hollins' shortcomings...he does not trust young players, with VERY few exceptions. Thus, it could be deduced that the ownership is hesitant to extend his contract beyond the next two years when that will be a necessary quality for this team's coach. Ed Davis is the obvious example, but it's easy to forget that, QPon's increasingly stellar play in the postseason, and Prince's increasingly awful play, basically gave Hollins no choice but to shift minutes from the vet to the youngster. Too little, too late. Also, you're telling me that it hurt the team more to give wroten some run (and experience) in 10 MPG, than it did to play Dooling's corpse as the 3rd PG in?
The refusal to bench prince until the end, the curious delay in putting allen on CP3/durant/Parker until the 3rd/4th game of each series, playing daye/leuer AT ALL in the playoffs and sticking with arthur over davis, despite growing evidence that arthur was just not back to pre-injury form...It's almost as if Hollins was picking his lineups as a big middle finger straight up at the owners' suite. Not to mention publicly speaking out against the Gay trade. Success or not, and regardless of your profession, those things heavily influence whether or not you are promoted (which, in this case, is equivalent to an extension/raise).
If you want to disagree, I'm certainly going to listen, but please be more creative than lazily citing "race" as a motivator. Be better than that.
I get why some are calling for a Randolph amnesty because of the money left on his contract, but the Spurs series notwithstanding, he still has plenty to offer in terms of production. In fact, after watching the playoffs and how progressively useless Prince became, I wish we could amnesty him and his $14 million remaining salary. But, I'm guessing since he didnt join the team until this Spring, he doesn't qualify?
With Pondexter's size (6' 6") and solid defensive skills, would it be a terrible idea to start him next season at SF, and Allen at SG (assuming he stays with the team)? That way, we get a floor-spreading shooter in the starting lineup without sacrificing defense? Average height of a starting SF in the league can't be more than 6'7" or 6'8" right?
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