Brooklyn Nets head coach Lionel Hollins was honored to have his jersey retired by Arizona State University, he told Doug and Wolf Wednesday on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.
Hollins’ jersey, along with Bryon Scott’s, was retired by the ASU men’s basketball team at Wells Fargo Arena in February 2011.
“It’s a great honor,” Hollins said. “It just shows the legacy that you left at the organization that you performed at. You tried to go at a high level every time you stepped on the court, at least for me, and to be recognized is like, ‘Wow.'”
Hollins played at ASU from 1973-75, averaging 17 points and 3.3 assists. He led the school to the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight in 1975, where the Sun Devils lost to UCLA. He is also a member of the ASU Hall of Fame.
“Coach (Ned) Wulk was great to me as a person, and they obviously furthered my basketball career with their teachings,” Hollins said. “But I came to play sports because I enjoyed it and I didn’t know that I was even going to have a professional career after that.”
Hollins was selected by the Portland Trail Blazers with the sixth pick in the 1975 NBA Draft. He played for the Trail Blazers for five seasons, including the 1977 championship team. Hollins also played for Toronto, Philadelphia, San Diego, Detroit and Houston. He averaged 11.6 points and 5.2 assists during his NBA career. The Portland Trail Blazers retired his number in 2007.
“You go through all that and you get done and they say, ‘Hey, you left a heck of a legacy here,'” Hollins said. “‘We want to put your number up in the rafters for good so people will recognize who you were and what you did and accomplished here.’ So that’s the ultimate, and I’m really proud of that honor.”