Former 76ers guard Lionel Hollins, introduced today as the Memphis Grizzlies' coaching replacement for another former Sixer, Marc Ivaroni, wanted two former NBA head coaches on the bench with him. He has Johnny Davis, a former Sixers coach, as a holdover, but he doesn’t have close friend and onetime backcourt mate Maurice Cheeks.
Hollins had extended an invitation to Cheeks, fired earlier by the Sixers, and got an early indication that Cheeks would come.
“But he decided he wanted a little more time to himself,” Hollins said. “I certainly understand that. He’ll have opportunities later.”
Hollins said he wanted two experienced men with him ''who will have huge responsibility, who have the right to stop a practice and coach because they know what to look for. I'm not egotistical. I know basketball, but I also know the value of having good people around you.''
Cheeks' contract with the Sixers runs through next season. With an offset clause likely in place, Cheeks would not have been able to earn any additional money. He would have simply been helping a friend.