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Hollins to talk to Nets as Grizzlies talks fizzle

The SportsXchange

Memphis Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins said he's surprised the team gave him permission to interview for other league coaching vacancies.

On Monday, the first formal request landed from the Brooklyn Nets, who've made no secret of their interest in Hollins.

The Nets and Los Angeles Clippers were among the teams showing interest in Hollins, according to the Memphis Commercial Appeal. CBS Sports reported the door isn't closed on Hollins' return to Memphis, but that scenario might not fit together as outside interest builds.

"I believe in Memphis. I love Memphis," Hollins said in a radio interview with Memphis Sports 56 radio. "I never had any intention of going anywhere. I don't have any intention of going anywhere."

He added, "I don't want to talk to any other teams. I want to be here. I told the media after our exit interviews (with the Grizzlies) that if the team offered me a contract that I felt was fair, I'd sign it the next day."

After meeting with owner Robert Pera and CEO Jason Levien last week, Hollins said he felt positive about his future with the team.

"I thought everything was good," he said. "I was excited when I left. They indicated that they respected me and appreciated what I had done and that (they were) going to engage my agent in negotiations later on that evening. The next thing I know I've been given permission to talk to other teams."

The Grizzlies went 56-26 and received the No. 5 seed in the West Conference playoffs, before getting swept by the San Antonio Spurs in the conference finals.

Hollins denied that contract talks with the team stalled because of reported "major philosophical differences."

"I never knew there were philosophical differences except the ones that the media put out there because of my answers to questions," Hollins said.

Hollins also said reports that he wants guard Tony Allen and forward Zach Randolph off the team are false.
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