Just 17 Games In, Kidd Doesn’t Want Frank By His Side Anymore

HANG TIME NEW JERSEY – When Jason Kidd was hired as the Brooklyn Nets’ new coach in June, he used part of his introductory news conference to recruit Lawrence Frank as his lead assistant. And Frank was eventually given a six-year contract worth $6 million to be the experienced coach to help the rookie learn the ropes.

Now, just 17 games into the pair’s first season in Brooklyn, Frank is off the bench. Kidd announced before the Nets’ game against the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday that Frank has been “reassigned” and will no longer sit on the bench for games or take part in practices.

It’s the latest twist in what has been an awful start to the Nets’ season. And only time will tell if it has an effect — positive or negative — on the team long-term.

If you watched the Nets’ episode of Real Training Camp in October, you saw and heard Frank running much of the practice. Nets point guard Shaun Livingston told reporters Tuesday that Frank “was obviously a voice, so that’s the hardest part.”

Was he too much of a voice? Kidd said the change was about “different philosophies.” YahooSports.com’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that this all stems from a conflict at an early-season meeting.

Hours after a blowout loss to the Orlando Magic – Kidd’s first game on the bench following a two-game suspension to start the season – the entire coaching staff witnessed Kidd lose his temper with Frank and escalate a strangely uneasy and brief coaching partnership together.

There had been conversations about moving forward together in recent weeks, league sources said, but the decision to let go of Frank was Kidd’s choice.

Frank was said to be this Nets team’s defensive coordinator. And through Monday, Brooklyn ranked 29th in defensive efficiency. But that was just one of the Nets’ issues. They also ranked in the bottom 10 offensively and they’ve already missed a combined 42 games from their top eight players.

“This is the decision that I had to make,” Kidd said.

When Kidd was hired, it was acknowledged that he would need time to adjust to a much different role than the one he had as a Hall of Fame point guard. So, even though the Nets have been a disaster thus far, it’s a little early for serious criticism. You can’t expect him to be Gregg Popovich (or even Mike Budenholzer) just 17 games into his career.

But Kidd’s inability to coexist with someone who is recognized as a bright basketball mind and a tireless worker will be added to his file. Interestingly, the situation is a little reminiscent of what went down in 2005, when Frank was the Nets’ head coach. The team had hired assistant Gordon Chiesa away from the Jazz, but before the regular season even got started, Chiesa resigned. And it was later reported that he had wanted more responsibility under Frank.

Sometimes, relationships just don’t work out. But these Nets aren’t the ’05-06 Nets, and Kidd and Frank both arrived with much higher profiles than Gordon Chiesa.

These Nets have a $102 million payroll, an $87 million luxury tax bill and, now, a guy they’re paying $6 million not to be an assistant coach. So there should certainly be some scrutiny for the man in charge of bringing out the best in one of the league’s most talented rosters. So far, it ain’t happening.

And after Tuesday, the burden for turning things around is on Kidd’s shoulders more than ever.

36 Comments

  1. Bob M says:

    Geez Louise, man. The whole team is injured!! Lawrence Frank can talk himself into a job, but his teams did not do well with him at the helm. If you get in an argument with a younger and less experienced coach (that happens to be your boss) in front of the players and media, you should expect that his discipline will be harsh. Add to that, the whole team is injured and the team is not winning, then, there is a strong possibility that you will be viewed as a additional stressor and a head may roll.

  2. andyballer87 says:

    the spill drink : BAD LOOK
    the firing of frank: BAD LOOK
    the fact that brooklyn is loosing games with players who doesnt want 2 run: BAD LOOK
    the fact that all of the players are overpaid: REALLY BAD LOOK

    Jason Kidd looks horrible as a coach and its oozing through the players they dont want him there..thats the truth

  3. spursfan says:

    yeah, somebody’s right here mentioning about kidd to gain coaching experience
    in d-league. he might be a hall of famer, but he was never coach to begin with, specially
    to this would-be-contender-but-without-chemistry team.

  4. LS says:

    Not sure Kidd is ready for coaching at the NBA level. Nets look really, really bad and if things go the way they normally do, someone is going to have to admit they made a mistake hiring him and send him packing.

    They made way too big of a deal over Jason anyway – retiring his number, the ceremony, etc. There’s no shortcut to having experience. Most people are smart and patient enough to take it slow and build upon their accomplishments over time. At this stage of the Nets season it looks as if no one has won anythings – the owner, the team, Pierce/KG (should have been allowed to retire in Boston), Terry or Kidd.

  5. lol says:

    Kidd suxs, he should coach for the D-league first for a couple of years, he got no experience and he is gunna blame others for his team’s mess..god the nets are atrocious, all that money all those players and being so bad? omg what the heck is going on…

  6. Alan Hollway says:

    We can’t prejudge Jason Kidd yet, we all know he’s got a great basketball brain, but it seems to me that if you have a Russian Billionaire bankrolling the nets and wanting immediate success why choose old stars past their prime? The Spurs big three keep on doing it despite predictions of doom every year but they are the odd one’s out. The point I am making is that Garnett, Pearce and terry couldn’t get it done with the Celtics at least not at this stage of their career, so who thinks they could do it for the nets? u have a bucketload of money why not wait for James and go after the best young talent? Aka Kyrie Irving from the Cav’s and a Kevin Love? Irving, Love and James now that is a hell of a big 3 and worth spending money on and maybe even wait a year or 2 until their available and let Kidd find his feet instead of lumping pressure on him so early through creating expectations of a championship with 3 past their prime old big 3?

  7. Tony C says:

    Now, if Kidd could only get rid of Deron Williams, that would solve almost all their problems. Williams doesn’t listen to anyone. And if you can’t listen to a soon to be hall of famer point guard, you don’t need to be on the roster. Deron Williams is the real problem.

    • steagl3 says:

      D-Will isn’t even playing! And when he was, he was hardly 100%, coming off a preseason injury and not having the necessary practice time with his new teammates. Yes he has a strong personality and yes we know what happened in Utah. But given time, and health, he can return to being a top 5 point guard again. I wouldn’t write him off yet. Let’s see what happens in the second half of the season because obviously the first half is a total wash for the Nets.

  8. Tony C says:

    A step in the right direction. I never liked Kidd as being a coach this soon but he is going to be a hall of famer and let’s see if he can rise to the occasion. I believe he needed to take ownership of this team as its leader on the sidelines. Now, the players will have one voice to listen to, instead of conflicting opinions.

  9. Dizzle says:

    Nets should’ve hired Brian Shaw…glad Shaw and the Nuggets thumped them in Brooklyn to show them they made a mistake. Jason Kidd as a coach=BIG MISTAKE

  10. Bill Kovacs says:

    I said this before , if paul and KG and Terry had a choise , they would have stayed in Boston.Jason Kidd was the wrong choice not only for the Nets, but for any team !!!! He is one year removed from playing, now he thinks he is a coach, REALLY!!! steagl3 is exactly right , The Russian Billionare has to learn the hard way.

  11. don't reach youngblood says:

    my comments aren’t allowed apraently, didn’t say anything disrespectful but still I can’t see my comment posted…free speech..not so much.. dictatorship?

  12. pritong galunggong says:

    Jason Kidd is on a mis placed posisition, he should be playing not coaching if the Nets uses Kidd as a player rather than coach they will surely improve

  13. Prosper Fish says:

    The nets needed a new “defensive minded” head coach

    • steagl3 says:

      There are a couple great coaches still available last time I checked. George Karl, Lionel Hollins, and my favorite, Jerry Sloan, who has expressed interest in returning to the NBA. Obviously Sloan wouldn’t come back if D-Will was still on the roster, but it makes for an interesting option if Brooklyn somehow finds a good trade for him. Also, Karl Malone desperately wants to coach. Imagine him and KG on the sidelines. Two of the greatest PFs of all time (#1 and #3 in my book). You know he would get those bigs in Brooklyn playing serious ball.

  14. Karlo Garcia says:

    As if the Nets season could not get from bad to worse. Nets beat the Heat,laid an egg losing to the Magic,Kidd fined,Pierce out 2-4 weeks,Kidd/Frank situation.

  15. Aram says:

    Hit me, Hit me!

  16. andyballer87 says:

    FIRE KIDD ASAP!

  17. theaandthea says:

    i think in his head jason kidd is still a player. i don’t think he can be anything else that a bad coach, especially with a fake industrial hype basketball team
    the drink spill thing for example, is kind of cheap, nothing serious, but some people will say pathetic, and maybe they are right, for a coach yes it is ugly, not for a player.
    it’s too early for him to be a coach, and he needs a real team, not a financial montage of individualities

  18. asdf says:

    What the hell, get rid of kid, Nets were delusional if they thought that they could win with a old team and a rookie coach. Id rather hire Frank as head coach than kid.

  19. J says:

    Nets Stink.

  20. Christiaen says:

    Lawrence is out.
    Kidd has to step up.
    I say, let him learn the coaching gig by actually doing it, let him take the bumps and the bruises along the way en learn from them. In 2 months from now, if he’s still with the Nets, you’ll already see a lot of differences in his coaching.
    This team is messed up, to many injuries, they lack a glue guy in the locker room, someone who can keep the team together just by clowning around, saying the right things at the right time. Garnett is fierce, he will bark at you when you’re messing up, but you also need someone who can take the tension away too.
    If you get the chemistry right, the results will follow. That’s what Kidd’s focus should be.

  21. txemacasanueva says:

    The entire Brooklyn Nets policy give the NBA a bad name, and so does the Knicks’. $87 million luxury tax? And this is what they have to show? The Thunder had to surrender Harden because of the salary cap, but they kept bulding through the draft; San Antonio, despite being the most succesfull franchise is something of a pariah,never taken into consideration and they keep proving everybody wrong time and again.Indiana are top of the league without going on a shoping spree.It seems to me that doing things the right way pays off. Wasting your money away is ignorant, irresponsible and only buys you time on the reel for the wrong reasons.

    • Voice of reason says:

      Last year the Miami Heat had a luxury tax of almost $83 million, they’ve won back to back. They destroyed the beloved okc WITH Harden, and they did just squeak by san antonio last year. However, they won. Lakers always have an insane luxury tax as well and that’s helped Kobe to 5 rings. Celtics made the original big 3, don’t know the numbers on their luxury tax but the point is that they acquired big stars for immediate success. Not saying the right way to do business is to spend big, because san antonio has been consistently challenging and winning on occasion. I’m just saying that spending all that money on stars does pay off sometimes. It’s a gamble, at the moment it looks like a disaster for the knicks and nets but it isn’t like this strategy doesn’t work so it is completely understandable why they would spend money on players who are or have been multiple time all-stars. No right or wrong, just different philosophies on how to win.

      • mcotten09 says:

        Agreed Voice. In this league you need good young energy. The Nets off season acquisitions has been horrendous. Im not saying this after the fact. I said it b4 that this team would be too old and slow. They cant defend and they take bad shots(Blatche),which allows quick teams to fast break on them, Only reason they beat Grizz is because theyre slow as well and the Nets do have talent. Kidd is gonna be given a longer leash than lets say Avery Johnson but he doesn’t have a clue right now. All pickups have been a bust Livingston,Terry,Garnett,and Pierce have been horrible. Kirilenko hasn’t played.They do have an injured p.g Williams but Im telling you hes not the big difference ppl think, hes slow too and the Nets hardly get fast break points. Prokhorov I can seriously run your team from the net. Shouldve kept Gerald Green he played well with Williams. You could’ve used those fast break buckets he provides. Prokhorov swallow your bride and contact me you have nothing to lose. This combo is not working.

      • FC says:

        Celtics made the original big 3??? i think not Pretty sure Lakers did with Wilt,West and Baylor

      • steagl3 says:

        @FC – I believe he meant the original “modern” BIg 3, which would be Pierce, KG & Allen.

      • artifex says:

        I agree with VoiceÖ It’s a gamble and you can’t be sure if it works out. Obviously, having talented players is a plus. Too old, I’m not convinced, that’s said of San Antonio for a couple of yearrs.

      • txemacasanueva says:

        Fair enough. Point taken.

    • Tony C says:

      Yeah, the Spurs did it the right way alright. David Robinson got hurt for the season, they lost a bunch of games to get a bad record. Got Tim Duncan in the lottery. The next season, you have Duncan and Robinson (two hall of famers) playing for your team. Four championships later, we can say, they did it the right way. LOL

  22. CornHole says:

    kidds a joke!

  23. steagl3 says:

    Two things I have said before this season started and will repeat again for the millionth time: Paul Pierce should NEVER have been traded away from Boston, and Jason Kidd should NEVER have been the head coach of this Nets team. The Russians billionaire is learning these two lessons the hard way.

  24. Joe Fresh says:

    I can’t believe they already got rid of Lawrence, Jason is a great point guard but he needs all the experience he can get.

  25. jonny says:

    The Nets aren’t the Heat: 20 something year olds with Olympic experience