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Grizzlies dump Hollins despite playoff run, club-record season

MEMPHIS, Tennessee -- Lionel Hollins will not be offered a new contract to coach the Memphis Grizzlies, the team announced on Monday, despite his guiding them to the best playoff run in their 18-year history.

The Grizzlies reached the Western Conference finals for the first time this season, winning a club-record 56 regular-season games and beating the Los Angeles Clippers and Oklahoma City before losing to the San Antonio Spurs.

Hollins, 59, is under contract as the team's coach until June 30 but will not be offered a renewal deal after the Spurs swept Memphis out of the playoffs.

“After a thorough internal process, which included conversations with Lionel and his representatives, we decided as an organization to move in a different direction,” Grizzlies chief executive and managing partner Jason Levien said.

Hollins served as an interim coach of the Grizzlies in the 1999-2000 season when they were based in Vancouver and coached the last four games in the 2004-05 season after Hubie Brown resigned as coach.

In January of 2009, the Grizzlies hired Hollins as their coach and he went 195-155 over four seasons, reaching the playoffs each of the past three campaigns.

“Lionel, the coaching staff, the players and the organization achieved new heights this season with our run to the Western Conference Finals and for that, we are grateful,” Levien said.

“The entire Grizzlies family wishes Lionel all the best and great success as he moves forward in his career.”

The Grizzlies are looking at George Karl, this season's NBA Coach of the Year who was fired last week by the Denver Nuggets, according to the Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper.

Hollins is expected to attract interest from several NBA clubs, including Denver, the Clippers and the Brooklyn Nets.

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In this May 27 photo, Memphis Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins, left, speaks to forward Quincy Pondexter #20 during the first half in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals NBA basketball playoff series against the San Antonio Spurs, in Memphis, Tennessee. (AP)

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