Experience could have been a big and important factor in bringing a National Basketball Association title to Brooklyn, according to most of the basketball followers and the new coach certainly has the ingredients that are needed for such a goal for this upcoming season. This coach was a player for the Portland Trail Blazers during their NBA championship year.
We are talking about Lionel Hollins who recently succeeded former NBA all-star guard and first year head coach Jason Kidd who came to the Nets without any head coaching experience at the start of last season.
Lionel’s wife Angela was on hand at the Barclays Center when the new coach was officially introduced to the media.
For her, the transition will be hard because she has a family living in Memphis.
“(Now) I’m looking for the opportunity to come to New York,” she said. “I’ve been in New York several times before.”
Some of the hoop followers, including high school kids, think with the established coach holding such a position is a definite plus. Now they have to get the right combination on the court.
Looking like a promising high school player competing in the 14 and under division of the ElmCor Summer Basketball League, Tray Clarke, a 6’2” center led his team with 20 points in the 14 and under division at the ElmCor indoor center in Queens, New York.
Tray follows the Nets and was surprised that Hollins got the job as head coach.
“I didn’t expect Hollins to get the job,” said the youngster, who hasn’t made up his mind if he will go to Nazareth High School or Channel View High School, which used to be called Beach Channel High. “He’s a good coach and he’ll take them far. He’s an experienced coach and knows what he is doing. He knows the league and can control his team. I’ve seen him on television. I’ve seen his teams do good and the players respected him.”
Most recently, Hollins was head coach of Memphis in 2012-2013. Memphis went as far as the Western Conference finals.
Tray’s father Trevor Clarke comes from Guyana, where he played soccer. Trevor talks to his son, who is in his first year competing in the ElmCor League, about education, which comes first. Both run the boardwalk together to stay in shape.
The student-athlete’s goal is to try to land a scholarship to college for free.
Another player in the league, Jeshon Weston of East Elmhurst said, “I think that coaching the Nets was a good experience for Kidd, coming off the court as a player to (handle) his own team. He did a good job, but management didn’t see it like that. Kidd did a good job last season.”
Another player in this ElmCor Sumer League, Christian Giles of East Elmhurst thinks differently and was in favor of Kidd continuing to coach the Nets.
“The Nets should have given him another year or two,” Giles added. “He got them as far as they could (in his first year into the playoffs), Another year would have been good. I think it would have been better for the chemistry of the team. I don’t think that the Nets ‘will do anything’ next year.”
Jason Livingston, uncle of Treston Livingston, another player who competes in the ElmCor League, feels that there is less pressure on the kids to play summer ball than high school ball during the winter. During the off season they work on their games to improve on their weaknesses.
“I like Lionel Hollins very much as a coach,” Jason said. “I think that he did a fantastic job (during his professional days in the NBA). He has the experience as a head coach and assistant coach. Experience most definitely will be a big factor.”