Struggling Nets Dump Hollins, Reassign GM King | NBC New York

Struggling Nets Dump Hollins, Reassign GM King



    Nets General Manager Billy King, right, and Head Coach Lionel Hollins during happier times. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

    Billy King's bold moves often seemed made with little regard for the future.

    Now Brooklyn's future isn't King's concern.

    The Nets reassigned their general manager and fired coach Lionel Hollins on Sunday in the midst of their worst season since moving from New Jersey.

    The Nets said assistant Tony Brown will serve as the interim head coach, and the GM position will remain open until a replacement is hired.

    "It's clear from our current state of affairs that we need new leadership," owner Mikhail Prokhorov said in a statement. "With the right basketball management and coach in place, we are going to create a winning culture and identity and give Brooklyn a team that it can be proud of and enjoy watching."

    The Nets have lost four in a row overall and nine straight at home, where attendance has dwindled at the $1 billion Barclays Center. The Nets made the playoffs every year since relocating for the 2012-13 season, but they are 10-27, better only than the league-worst Philadelphia 76ers.

    King had been GM since 2010, orchestrating a number of high-profile moves that led to just one playoff series victory. Hollins was in his second season as coach.

    King worked hard to fulfill Prokhorov's goal of winning a championship within five years of buying the team in 2010, making blockbuster trades that brought in Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett.

    Only Johnson remains, as the Nets decided to cut costs after at one point owning the largest payroll in league history. But they haven't been competitive now and have little hope of a quick fix in the future, as their first-round pick next season goes to Boston as part of the payment from the deal that brought Pierce and Garnett in 2013.

    "At every step of the way, he has been aggressive in his quest to build a winning team and has been a key factor toward the Nets making the playoffs for each of the last three seasons," Prokhorov said of King, who was in the last year of his contract.

    Prokhorov is scheduled to hold a news conference Monday. The Russian billionaire recently agreed to a deal with developer Bruce Ratner to buy the remaining portion of the team he didn't already own and now wants to strengthen it.

    "We have learned a great deal during the past six years and our experiences will guide us for the future," Prokhorov said. "Following the consolidation of team ownership last month, I can assure you that I'm more determined and committed than ever to build a winner." 

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