The Memphis Grizzlies made Lionel Hollins the third NBA coach to lose his job after leading their team to the playoffs, joining former Denver Nuggets coach George Karl and L.A. Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro in the unemployment line this summer.
Hollins led Memphis to a 56-26 SU mark and went 46-34-2 ATS, the fourth-best bet in the league, before the Grizzlies chose not to renew his contract. All three coaches not only took their clubs to the postseason but also made a pretty penny for NBA bettors this year.
Combine Hollins’ ATS record with Karl (49-32-1 ATS) and Del Negro (45-37-0 ATS) and those three former coaches boast a 140-103-3 count against the spread this past season – a winning rate of 57.5 percent.
Karl, who won the NBA’s Coach of the Year Award, was let go by the Nuggets after leading them to a franchise-high 57 wins and the second-best ATS mark in the NBA. Del Negro was fired following a 56-26 SU campaign which ended in first-round playoff exit.
All three coaches were let go due to contract issues, with Hollins and Del Negro's deals expiring and Karl heading into the final year of his contract and the team not wanting the three-year option due to conflicts in team direction.
Perhaps if the Grizzlies, Clippers and Nuggets were betting on their coaches this past season, they'd have enough to pony up the dough.