Good Evening
Good Evening

Lionel Hollins makes media impression

Winning is 99 percent of the job in coaching, but in New York the part of that 1 percent that involves dealing with the news media tends to be a lot bigger deal than in smaller, saner markets that lack tabloid back pages.

Lionel Hollins got off to a fine start on that front upon being introduced Monday as the Nets’ coach, replacing the maddeningly uncommunicative Jason Kidd.

How does Hollins, most recently a coach in the non-media-hotbed of Memphis, plan to handle New York?

“I played in Philadelphia with five newspapers,’’ Hollins said. Wait: Five newspapers in Philly?! Let it be noted that Hollins is 60, and played there in the early 1980s.

“So it’s all the same. I think I have to be careful because I’m a joker and sometimes the first thing out of my mouth is not what I really feel, but everyone has it down and that’s what is written.’’

Hollins seemed at ease kibitzing with metropolitan-area journalists on Day One, but he did have some tense media moments in Memphis.

GM Billy King said he does not take media relations into account in hiring a coach.

“I’d rather have somebody who doesn’t like talking to you guys who does a better job of coaching,’’ he said, “than somebody that wants to talk to you guys who can’t coach.’’

Fair point. But it doesn’t hurt to be able to do both.

New York Sports