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Nets hire Lionel Hollins as head coach

(Reuters) - The Brooklyn Nets quickly settled a stunning coaching overhaul by hiring Lionel Hollins as their new head coach, the National Basketball Association team said on Wednesday.

Hollins, a former head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies, takes over for Jason Kidd, who left Brooklyn to join the Milwaukee Bucks as head coach on Tuesday.

"We are very excited to welcome Lionel as the new head coach of the Brooklyn Nets," Nets general manager Billy King said in a statement. "He is a proven winner who will provide the franchise with stability and leadership going forward."

Former NBA point guard Hollins led the Grizzlies to three consecutive playoff appearances in his last three seasons with the team before the two sides decided to part ways.

In Hollins's last season at the helm, Memphis went 56-26 and advanced to the 2013 Western Conference finals.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed by the Nets but, according to an ESPN report, Hollins signed a four-year deal with the Nets worth $18 million, with the fourth year at the option of the club.

"I want to thank the Nets ownership and Billy for this opportunity," said Hollins, who becomes the franchise's 19th head coach.

"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."

Milwaukee traded two future second-round draft picks to Brooklyn for the right to negotiate a more lucrative deal with Kidd after he steered the Nets to a 44-38 record and a first-round playoff victory over Toronto in his first season as coach.

Hollins takes over a team that rebounded from a 10-21 start last season to become sixth seed for the playoffs and reach the Eastern Conference semi-finals before falling to the Miami Heat.

After a couple of spells as an interim coach of the Grizzlies, Hollins took over as the team's full-time coach during the 2008-09 season.

Former NBA guard Hollins, considered a defensive-minded coach, compiled a 196-155 record over five seasons with his teams improving their record in each campaign.

His contract expired after the 2013 season and the Grizzlies chose not to offer him a new deal over apparent philosophical differences with the front office.

(Reporting by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Frank Pingue)

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