Lionel Hollins is my new favorite NBA coach

OK, that might be a bit of an overstatement. But I do love his honesty.

Before Hollins’ Memphis Grizzlies played the Timberwolves on Wednesday night, Hollins was asked if he was going to be able to sneak a look at a TV and watch his son, Austin, play for the Gophers.

At that point, Hollins basically called college basketball — especially the Big Ten variety — boring.

Pat Reusse wrote his entire column for Thursday\’s paper on this topic.

I was working at the Wolves-Grizz game last night and heard about the pregame quotes. And while I covered college hoops for a long time, many of Hollins’ feelings mirror how I feel about the game.

It is slow, it lacks both offense and flow and it really can be a little boring. I also don’t think there are that many great players. There are too many guys with major limitations that I simply can’t get too excited. And don’t get me started on the first 35-40 percent of the season being filled with game after game between a have and a have-not. I find it criminal what some of these schools — Minnesota very much included — charge for these games.

Here are a couple of the Hollins highlights:

“It’s hard to watch college basketball … There’s not a lot of playing,” he said. “The pro game, with the 24-second clock, moving up and down the court, you get at least 100 possessions every game.”

“In college, especially in the Big Ten … I watched Wisconsin and Minnesota play down the stretch and I couldn’t take it. They just hold the ball and hold the ball, and try to get a shot with 10 seconds on the clock. That’s the whole game — not just the fourth quarter.”

And then there’s this:

“That’s one thing I was not shy about — shooting. That’s why it’s hard for me to watch my son, because he doesn’t shoot much. Tubby would’ve been grabbing me with a hook, because I’d be putting them up.”

I love the honesty. And that is much of the reason why I watch more and more NBA and less and less college hoops. The players are better, the pace is quicker and I find it more interesting.

I don’t hate college basketball and I’m not going to try to tell people they are wrong if they like it. In this town, my stance isn’t exactly positive, as it is popular to rip on and dismiss the Timberwolves. That’s fine. The college fans can watch games that end up in the 50s or low 60s and root for a team that can barely make half of their free throws. You can find me watching guys with lots more talent and scoring lots more points.


2 thoughts on “Lionel Hollins is my new favorite NBA coach

  1. I still like college basketball. I don’t like the politics behind it just like I don’t like politics of college sports. Still, it’s good stuff, especially in March. I am not a big NBA fan. There are not many great teams, and I am not crazy about the CAA (World Wide Wes) influencing players to play in big-market teams not small-market teams. I don’t want to watch a league where they are only three great teams. Football is fun because you have several good teams. Even baseball has good teams despite the fact there is economic disparity between large-revenue teams and small-revenue teams. I often feel bored watching the NBA. There are too many bad players.

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