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Mahmoud Abdelfattah, Lionel Hollins gaining momentum in Houston’s assistant coaching search

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Mahmoud Abdelfattah, currently head coach of Houston’s G League affiliate, the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) Vipers, continues to gain momentum in the parent NBA club’s assistant coaching search, per Kelly Iko of The Athletic. The Rockets currently have three openings on the staff of Stephen Silas, with only John Lucas and Rick Higgins set to return.

Another name growing in popularity is Lionel Hollins, who was head coach in Memphis from 2009 to 2013 and in Brooklyn from 2014 to 2016. He was an assistant with the Los Angeles Lakers from 2019 through 2021, with that run including the 2020 NBA championship team.

As part of his latest notebook in The Athletic, Iko writes:

Concerning Abdelfattah, the deal is essentially done, and it’s a matter of when, not if, sources told The Athletic.

The length of Silas’ list of options is unknown at this juncture, but another name that’s emerged is Lionel Hollins, sources told The Athletic. Hollins, who last served during the 2020-21 season as an assistant under Lakers head coach Frank Vogel, is widely known and respected for his defensive acumen, dating back to his tenure as the head coach for those stubborn grit-and-grind Memphis Grizzlies teams from 2009-13.

Iko reports that there is no known timetable for the hires, with the Rockets giving Silas “the time and freedom to create the exact type of staff he wants.” By contrast, when Silas was hired by Houston in late 2020, Iko notes that his staff was put together relatively quickly.

Assistant coaches from the past two seasons who are no longer with the Rockets include Jeff Hornacek, Will Weaver, and DeSagana Diop.

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