Hollins positive he'll return to Memphis - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Hollins positive he'll return to Memphis

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DOWNTOWN MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

Monday's big 103-97 overtime Game 4 win at home against the Oklahoma City Thunder will certainly convince new Grizzlies owner Robert Pera that this team needs to return next year.

It may also help get a contract extension for head coach Lionel Hollins. Known for his terse and curt answers to reporters, Hollins wouldn't mind something lengthy from Pera after the 2012-13 concludes.

This season the Grizzlies won 56 regular season games, have the league's defensive player of the year in Marc Gasol, three players on their team who made the NBA's All-Defensive teams, an All-Star in Zach Randolph and they are one win away from the Western Conference Finals.

They all gave credit to their coaching staff when they were honored a coaching staff they are not sure will be back next season.

MORE: Grizz rally 17 down to win in OT for 3-1 series lead: http://www.myfoxmemphis.com/story/22241475/grizz-rally-17-down-to-win-in-ot-for-3-1-series-lead

A win Wednesday in Game 5 and Memphis would advance to their first Western Conference Finals in team history and would be four wins away from the 2013 NBA Finals.

Coach Hollins gives his players credit for what they have been able to accomplish every chance he gets.

"I love our group," Hollins said after Game 4. "I thank God for them and I am very blessed to have a very, such a competitive group of guys."

Hollins has been the head coach of the Grizzlies for four years. He had an interim stint as head coach in 2004. The year before he was named head coach, the grizzlies were a NBA joke, finishing the season with a 24-58 record. Since then the team has improved their winning percentage each year and have made three trips to the playoffs, advancing to the conference semifinals twice.

This revitalized organization has induced Memphis in a heated case of Grizzlies fever.

"Before we were just a pro team that was here in town," Hollins said. "When things were going good or you had some people you wanted to bring to the game, you did. Now everywhere you go you see blue, you see gold and it's the way a city of Memphis should be."

With all of their success you would think the Grizzlies franchise would have Hollins locked up as head coach for years to come.

That is not the case as Hollins has no contractual obligation to the franchise beyond this season, leaving many to speculate whether or not the new Grizzlies management will keep Hollins around after the playoffs.

The coach is hopeful he will return to Memphis.

"I envision even bigger things," Hollins said. "I believe we're going to win championships at the same point."

While Hollins gives his players credit for what they have done on the court, his players say they couldn't have done it without this coaching staff.

"They should get a lot of credit because that is there mindset," Gasol said. "The players should get a lot of credit too because if you don't allow yourself to be coached it's pointless. So I think it's a mixture a percentage of both and I am just happy to be a part of it."

"I think he should have gotten coach of the year this year," Tony Allen said. "Me, personally I though he should have but you know how that goes."

"Our coaching staff has done a phenomenal job," echoed Mike Conley. "I think for them to have kind of rounded up everybody after the trade and had to try different lineups and different schemes with different people, for us to be where we are at right now is a big part of how they handled the situation."

"Our coaching staff is the best," added Quincy Pondexter. "They are doing a great job of helping us definitely. They are making us come together as a team. Our coaches have done a great job for us. They have provided us with a lot of confidence and given us all the tools we need to be victorious  in games."

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