Nets players did not like former head coach Lionel Hollins, according to the latest story by Andy Vasquez (Jan. 15).
"Several sources around the team couldn't name a single Nets player who liked Hollins," Vasquez wrote.
Reportedly, Hollins kept players in his "doghouse" for long periods of time and didn't take blame or responsibility for their struggles.
Thaddeus Young said that playing under interim head coach Tony Brown is a "huge" change.
"Our tendencies before was we were harping on the fact that we were giving up leads and we were harping on the fact that we had some plays where we turned the ball over," Young said. "But [Brown's] mentality is: 'Forget about what happened before this, and let's try to make a push and try to win this game.' That's huge for us as a team. It says a lot that he believes in us, that he wants us to compete, he believes that we can continue to win the game at any point."
I can't say I'm surprised. Hollins had the reputation as a no-nonsense, "old school" hardliner when he got the job. Many, myself included, worried it wouldn't fly, especially once they Nets started pinching pennies and moving players that would need a mentor more than a yeller. It looks like those fears were justified.
It's clear from Young's comments that Hollins lost this locker room a long time ago. Don't get me wrong, I don't think the Nets are a 50-win team in disguise, held down by a coach they didn't like. They're a very obviously flawed club. But I can't help but look at the talent in the front court alone and ask myself how they're only 11-28. It appears that at least part of the answer may have been that Hollins simply wasn't the right man for the job. Time will tell if Tony Brown, or whoever takes the job next, will be able to get this moving in the right direction. It seems clear, though, Hollins was never going to.