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Championship assistant Lionel Hollins leaving Lakers as staff shake-up continues

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Lionel Hollins is no longer a member of the Los Angeles Lakers coaching staff, according to The Athletic.

Hollins had been a key assistant on Frank Vogel’s staff for the past two seasons. He helped lead the Lakers to the NBA championship in 2019-20. According to Marc Stein, the Lakers will promote assistant Mike Penberthy into Hollins’ role.

Despite — or reflective of — general manager Rob Pelinka and Frank Vogel’s effusive words about the Lakers coaching staff at exit interviews, the Lakers have overhauled their sideline this summer.

In June, the team parted ways with Nina Hsieh, who had served as the team’s head trainer since 2019.

Next, Jason Kidd — who Frank Vogel said became a trusted scout and confidante — was tapped by the Dallas Mavericks to be Luka Doncic’s second NBA head coach. Notably, Kidd is bringing highly-regarded player development coach and advance scout Greg St. Jean with him from Los Angeles to Dallas.

To replace Kidd, Los Angeles will bring on former New York Knicks and Memphis Grizzlies head coach David Fizdale, who bonded with LeBron James during his time as an assistant with the Miami Heat.

Further down the developmental pipeline, the Lakers decided not to renew the contract of Coby Karl, who coached the organization’s G-League affiliate, the South Bay Lakers, for the past five seasons.

Another key Lakers assistant coach and player development specialist, Phil Handy, interviewed for the Washington Wizards head coaching position, which was filled by Wes Unseld Jr. At the moment, Handy remains on board in Los Angeles.

The Hollins news doesn’t come as a total surprise, as he interviewed for the Portland Trail Blazers lead assistant gig earlier in the summer. Portland ultimately hired Scott Brooks for the position.

Hollins was unable to coach in the bubble due to age/health reasons, but he was on the Lakers’ sidelines for the entirety of the 2020-21 season.

In addition to various stints as an assistant in the NBA and NCAA ranks, Hollins served as head coach of the Grizzlies from 2009-13 and the Brooklyn Nets from 2014-16.