That warm, fuzzy feeling that many Memphians had about the Grizzlies historic run to the NBA's Western Conference Finals gave way to a knot in the stomach on Monday.
The condition change came with news that Lionel Hollins is out as head coach. According to Jason Levien, CEO and managing partner of the Grizzlies and FedExForum, there was a "thorough internal process" before Hollins was let go.
Hollins' contract officially expires at the end of the month.
Levien's statement said the Grizzlies decided to move on without Hollins after talking with him and his representatives. He thanked Hollins for "his service and hard work" during a period that spanned the franchises time in Vancouver and Memphis. And he said the Grizz wish Hollins well as he moves on.
Still, for many, it just doesn't feel, look or smell right.
Here is a sampling from Hollins' Facebook page:
Maury S. Lane
Thanks Coach Hollins for all you have done. Yesterday's decision was a poor one for Memphis but hopefully a great one for you and your career. Your kindness and support for this community will never be forgotten. Thanks again and good luck.
Pam Hallisey Hiss
Not Happy about Lionel Hollins leaving the Memphis Grizz. You will be truly missed.
I'm not just unhappy about it, I'm pissed. Can we just fire the new owners and bring Lionel back?
For the record, here is Hollins' overall career head coaching record:
• 214 wins, 201 losses (.516)
• Two stints as Grizzlies interim head coach.
• 35 career playoff games; 18 wins, 17 losses (.514).