NEW YORK -- The Brooklyn Nets reached an agreement in principle Wednesday with Lionel Hollins to become their coach, moving quickly after the departure of Jason Kidd. The deal with the former Memphis Grizzlies coach comes two days after the Nets made a trade with Milwaukee to allow Kidd out of his contract so the Bucks could hire him. Nets general manager Billy King and his assistants then met with Hollins on Monday night and again Tuesday before agreeing to the deal. Terms were not disclosed. "I want to thank the Nets ownership and Billy for this opportunity," Hollins said in a statement. "It has been a long process to get back into the league, and I believe that Billy and I will have a very successful working relationship. Brooklyn has firmly established itself as a franchise that is committed to winning, and I eagerly look forward to becoming part of that culture and building on the success of the past two playoff appearances." The Nets will introduce Hollins at a press conference Monday. Hollins led Memphis to 56 victories and the 2013 Western Conference finals before he and the Grizzlies parted ways. The Nets considered him last year after firing P.J. Carlesimo before hiring Kidd. He was the only known candidate the Nets interviewed this time. King said he had reached out to one other person who chose not to pursue the job. "If you look at (his) track record and what he did in Memphis, he was able to go in there and take a team, added some veterans and they continually got better," King said Tuesday. "He developed some young guys, (Marc) Gasol, some big guys. If you look at Memphis, they got consistently got better every year. All the way to the Western Conference finals." Kidd led Brooklyn to a 44-38 record and the second round of the playoffs in his lone season but the Nets allowed him to pursue other jobs after denying his request for more power within the organization. The Bucks held Kidds welcoming press conference earlier Wednesday. Hollins is known as a strong defensive coach, with the Grizzlies holding opponents to an NBA-low 89.3 points per game in his final season. He is the franchises career leader in wins and led them to three straight playoff appearances. He takes over a veteran team in Brooklyn that could easily fit his style of play if Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce return, and Brook Lopez and Deron Williams come back healthy after surgeries. Hollins went 214-201 with the Grizzlies and improved the teams record in each of his four full seasons, from 40 wins in 2009-10 to 56-26 in his final season. Memphis upset top-seeded San Antonio in the first round of the 2011 playoffs. But the Grizzlies came under new ownership and management during his final season, and they chose not to renew Hollins contract after they were swept by the Spurs in the conference finals. He met last month with Cleveland before the Cavaliers hired David Blatt. 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The rookie manager has made a habit of heaping praise on others when things are going well, and accepting criticism when they arent. But in the case of Hurtado, its what the coach is NOT saying that may be the secret to a superb run of form.CLEVELAND - As Michael Brantley headed toward the clubhouse door and off-season carrying his belongings in a blue duffel bag, Clevelands All-Star outfielder didnt look up at a TV showing Detroits champagne-soaked celebration of another AL Central title.This wasnt the way Brantley or the Indians thought it would end a€” shy of October.Failing to build off their wild-card appearance in 2013, the Indians completed an unfulfilling season with a 7-2 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday.Cleveland was done in by too many errors, injuries, an inconsistent offence and sub-par years from Nick Swisher and Jason Kipnis, two highly paid players that were counted on.We came in with high expectations, outfielder David Murphy said. I joined a team that went to the playoffs last year. We had every expectation of doing that again and maybe win the division. Obviously, things didnt work out that way.Rookie Zach Walters and Carlos Santana each drove in two runs as the Indians finished 85-77, a seven-win drop from a year ago.For manager Terry Francona, the finality of his second season in Cleveland brought mixed emotions. There was disappointment tinged with some jealousy toward the teams moving on.You go 100 miles an hour, and youre with this group all day, every day, and then all of a sudden it comes to a crashing halt, and you go home, he said. I thought they did a really good job of playing right up until the end.Walters and Murphy hit solo second-inning homers off Alex Cobb (10-9) for the Indians, who failed to build on last season when they hosted Tampa Bay in the AL wild-card game.T.J. House (5-3), whose consistency gives Cleveland hope for the future, gave up Sean Rodriguezs leadoff homer in the second, but otherwise kept the ALs lowest-scoring team off the board. The Indians went 7-0 in his home starts.Despite their many issues, the Indians stayed alive in the playoff race until Friday. They may have fallen short of goals, but the Indians have posted consecutive winning seasons for the first time since 2000-01 and with a core of young players and a pitching staff anchored by Cy Young candidate Corey Kluber, theres plenty of reason for optimism.We did about what we could do, Francona said.dddddddddddd All things considered, I think we said from the first day, you play the game the way you can and you look up at the end and you take where you are at. Thats probably where we deserve to be.Francona rested most of his starters, including Brantley, who made a late MVP push. Brantley is the first player in Cleveland history with 200 hits, 40 doubles, 20 homers and 20 steals in a season, joining Jacoby Ellsbury as the only players to hit those plateaus in the past seven years.While Brantley emerged as one of the leagues rising stars, Kipnis flattened out.After signing a $52.5 million, six-year deal before the home opener, Kipnis batted just .240 with six homers and 41 RBIs. Its a shocking drop off for the 27-year-old, an All-Star last season when he hit .284 with 17 homers and 84 RBIs.Following the game, Kipnis gave away bats as souvenirs to fans sitting behind the Indians dugout.He wasnt nearly as giving with the media.Not from me, he said, waving off reporters afterward. Nope.Murphy and Walters connected in the second to make it 2-1 against Cobb, who was the winning pitcher against Cleveland in last years wild-card game.Rodriquez gave the Rays a 1-0 lead in the second, crushing Houses first pitch for his 12th homer.TERRIFIC TWOSOMEWith Brantley getting 200 hits and Kluber striking out 269, the Indians are the first team to have a 200-hit player and pitcher with more than 250 strikeouts since Arizona (Luis Gonzalez, Randy Johnson) in 1999.EMPTY FEELINGThe Indians drew 1,437,393 fans, the second fewest since Progressive Field opened in 1994.LAST LICKS?Indians DH Jason Giambi hasnt decided whether to continue his playing career, which began with Oakland in 1995. The 43-year-old plans to go home and enjoy his family before making his next move. He said its strange to have an uncertain future.Who knows? he said. Maybe somebodys looking for a broken down 44-year-old to take a few extra hacks.(K)OUNTINGClevelands pitchers struck out eight, raising their season record to 1,450. Tampa Bay, which also passed the previous mark set by Detroit last season, finished with 1,437 strikeouts. Wholesale Jerseys ' ' '
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