It’s Lionel Hollins’s Prerogative!
It’s been no secret that Lionel Hollins’s decisions have been - let’s be kind here - puzzling. There have been times that his decisions have cost the Brooklyn Nets some games this season. There have been times that his communication skills have dipped slightly (Okay, folks, it’s been nonexistent!) below the level of NBA coaching standards in crunch time. Lionel Hollins does have the reputation of having accountability issues such as…
Throwing people under the bus, AKA…
Throwing people out in the ocean with no boat, AKA…
Leaving people out in the desert with no shade or lemonade.
But last week was comical to me. It happened in the press conference after the Nets lost to the Dallas Mavericks. After Deron Williams drank the New York water and got hurt - again - leave it to Lionel Hollins to provide all of the entertainment and drama. This time it concerned the playing time of Bojan Bogdanovic.
Going back a week to catch up, the Nets were down by as much as 16 to the Mavericks in the first half, but the Nets used a 28-9 run to double up the Mavericks, 34-17, in the quarter to take a lead.
Bojan Bogdanovic was a major contributor to the run, knocking down two threes in the quarter to support Joe Johnson’s impact during the surge.
Bogdanovic scored 17 points on the night and hit a Nets season-high five shots from the land of the extra point. Plus he didn’t miss.
Stands to reason that Bojan Bogdanovic would be in the game down the stretch when the Nets struggle to score at times (okay, most of the time…) at the end of games. It would be a good idea to ride a hot hand from three-point land when the Nets are at the bottom of the league in three-point shooting. Right?
Bogdanovic parlayed the best shooting performance from a Net from distance this season into a 1:16 tenure in the fourth quarter.
Everyone wondered what in the world would warrant a benching of a player who helped Brooklyn go from a 16-point deficit to a ten-point lead in the third quarter.
Why, Lionel? Why?
Lionel Hollins is starting to make me question press conferences. I mean, reporters and beat writers are supposed to ask questions to relay to the fans. Fans follow their teams, watch the games, and read about reports and stories based on what the coaches and players have to say. Throw in a little opinion and there you have it. I mean that’s our job at Brooklyn’s Finest.
Dallas was running a zone during the game and Bogdanovic was killing them. He helped bring the Nets back and was benched when the Nets could have used him. It was a fair question to ask why the man was on the bench. Especially after Dallas had caught up.
This fake Gregg Popovich act was not fair from Lionel Hollins….
“Well I could say coach’s decision, which it was. And I’ll leave it at that.”
Now folks most good reporters do follow up questions. It’s important because this is one of the main subplots to why the Nets lost… again. Hollins channeled his inner Rasheed Wallace to answer…
“I don’t want to talk about it.”
God bless Bojan Bogdanovic. He used great restraint, or Brook Lopez told him to join the club…
“Honestly, that’s the coach’s decision,” Bogdanovic said. “The guys on the court did a great job. So did that lineup to close the game to get a win, I don’t have any problem with that. I respect the coach’s decision.”
When Hollins was asked the next day about the decision, Hollins was reportedly hinting that Bogdanovic was a defensive liability.
Eric Bacharach of Newsday on Hollins’s explanation - if you want to call it that…
“I have to coach those guys every day. And they got to believe in me and trust what I’m saying, and that I care about them as well. And in doing that, I have to try and protect them. Simple as that. So there’s a lot of questions you may ask me and think I should answer, but from my perspective, I know I shouldn’t answer them. Because I’m thinking about them.
“I make a lot of decisions during the course of the game. some people object to some of them, especially fans, but I can’t coach to the fans. I really don’t…Whether 20 million people want to know the answer, if I choose not to answer, that’s my prerogative.”
Okay, Lionel, so you’re Bobby Brown now? Bacharach noted that Hollins dropped the “prerogative” seven times in his comments about the Bogdanovic situation.
I’m going to use some lyrics from “My Prerogative” to make my point. Feel free to call up YouTube and play the song “My Prerogative” while you read along.
“….Everybody’s talking all this stuff about me… why don’t they just let me live (chorus background: Tell me why?)…”
Sure, Lionel, I’ll tell you why. You just happen to be a NBA head coach on one of the two teams that resides in the number one market in the United States. You know, New York? It tends to be a little hot under the media microscope. IF you don’t believe me, ask Deron Williams. You know, the dude you almost came to blows with that ran off to Dallas.
“…I don’t need permission… make my own decisions… oh that’s my prerogative…”
Anyone wants to call, Skype, email, snapchat or tweet that attitude to Russia. I’m sure Mikhail Prokhorov would love to hear that explanation after another questionable decision that cost the Nets yet again. Especially now that he dropped millions of more dollars to obtain FULL ownership of the team.
But seriously, Lionel Hollins did what he always does when he gets in a jam: throws somebody under the bus. Bringing up Brook Lopez and his struggles on defense last year was a smooth way of saying Bogdanovic was not playing defense to his liking.
The Nets gave up 119 points. Bojan was not going to influence a game in any way at that point. Plus, the dude was hot. Finally, if Hollins cared enough about Bojan, because he coaches him everyday, he would know that pulling this stunt would mess with Bojan’s confidence. It’s not like he was burning up the court with his shot earlier this season.
But if you really want to know what Lionle Hollins really means. Just use Bobby Brown’s lyrics
“…they don’t understand me… or really don’t know the deal about a brother trying hard to make it right…”
“…Got this person talking about me and this person… Hey listen let me tell you something, it’s my prerogative and I can do what I want to do… I made this money you didn’t … Right Billy?”
We outta here!