Oh, these coaches. Oh, these two hapless, problematic coaches.... MORE →
In a brash move of supreme arrogance, brilliance, and desperation, Brooklyn Nets head coach Jason Kidd announced shortly before the team's Tuesday night game against the Denver Nuggets that lead assistant Lawrence Frank would no longer man the sidelines next to Kidd, demoting him to doing "daily reports" on the team, far away from the bench during games and practices. Kidd cited "differing philosophies" on basketball as the reason, despite having a professional and personal relationship with Frank for nearly a decade. The move came as the Nets flailed at the bottom of the Eastern Conference, far from the championship aspirations the team predicted two months earlier.
The change... MORE →
— Michelle K. (@ChelleHGRadio) December 3, 2013
How can you have "different philosophies" w/an asst coach whom you played for and hired? Did you not know his philosophies? #Nets
— MEJ (@MoJay58) December 4, 2013
Only in Brooklyn can a team be this bad and the assistant coach takes the fall before the head coach. Who says experience matters? #Nets
— Daniel Siegel (@DanSiegel_H4TV) December 4, 2013
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Nets top assistant Lawrence Frank was reassigned by head coach Jason Kidd to doing "daily reports" for the team, officially kicking Frank off the bench for games and practices. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, the tension between the two had built throughout the season, and this demotion was inevitable:
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When vying for the Brooklyn Nets head coaching job, Kidd pushed desperately to bring Frank on with him at the sidelines. "I'm working as hard as I can (to bring Frank on)," Kidd told Greg Kelly and Rosanna Scotto of Good Day New York in June. "Hopefully he does join the staff, because he would be great." The idea that Kidd could assemble a veteran staff was key in King's decision to hire Kidd, and assemble he did, convincing Frank to join the team as the lead assistant.
Now, after about one month and a 5-12 opening, Kidd has done a 180, sending Frank off the bench. Frank, who reportedly makes more than $1 million as the highest-paid assistant coach in the league, has been reassigned to doing "daily reports" for the team. He won't be on the team's bench for games or practices, and will not travel.
"Lawrence has been reassigned to doing daily reports, and he won't be sitting on the bench or at practice," Kidd said shortly before Tuesday's "So there's been a change. It doesn't change the coaching staff, guys will be there. So that's that."
Frank was considered the defensive guru for the team, but they've struggled on that end of the floor: even with world-class defender Kevin Garnett, the team is dead last in the NBA in points allowed per possession.
"It's about basketball," Kidd said prior to Tuesday's matchup against the Denver Nuggets, multiple times. "We move forward. You learn. But the big thing is, I'm focused, and I have to have these guys ready to go tonight."
Over the summer, Kidd, King, and everyone else within 3,000 miles of the Nets acknowledged that Kidd had a significant learning curve in becoming a head coach. But during Tuesday's press conference, Kidd said he didn't need Frank -- or anyone -- to ease that transition.
"I've been doing it from day one," Kidd said, when asked if he could have done it without Frank. "Understanding what it means to be a coach, having guys ready, that's what I've been doing since summer league."
Kidd added that there would be no replacements to his staff, which is set, but that it was his call and the choice is final. "This is the decision that I had to make, and we made it, and we move on. ... This is about basketball. That's it."
Frank missed six games last year to be with his wife due to an undisclosed illness on her part. He also missed time in preseason to be by her side. Though Kidd stressed that the decision was purely basketball-related, it's not clear if this demotion has anything to do with Frank's personal life.
"It's just different philosophies," Kidd said of the decision. "That's all. ... We'll figure out how to stop people."
Unless you've been living under a Coca-Cola waterfall this past week, you probably heard about Nets coach Jason Kidd's now-infamous soda trick. Kidd told Tyshawn Taylor to run into him holding a drink to cause a spill, earning his team a bonus time-out in crunch time against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Coaches and players alike have weighed in, most supporting Kidd (Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni excluded), but that didn't stop the NBA from fining Kidd $50,000 for his antics. That's a fine that former New York Nets coach (Yes, that's how long ago he coached the team) Kevin Loughery thinks is ridiculous:
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Prior to Friday night's game against the Houston Rockets, Brooklyn Nets head coach Jason Kidd finally spoke with the media openly about his strategy to spill a drink on the floor to earn his team an extra time-out in crunch time against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Kidd was fined $50,000 for the trick.
From the team beat reporters in Houston:
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With under ten seconds left, the game within one possession, and the Nets out of timeouts, rookie coach Jason Kidd pulled a veteran move, instructing second-year guard Tyshawn Taylor to run into him and spill his drink to cause a stoppage in play. The stoppage allowed the Nets (and Lakers) to huddle up and draw up one final play despite not having an official time-out.
So what did Kidd take the risk for?
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What exactly are you blaming Jason Kidd for?
That's not an accusation. That's a real question. What about this mess lands on him? You can't blame him for the construction of this team -- that's on Billy King, who I argued in July made the right move, an argument I stand by. You can't blame him for Kevin Garnett's body breaking down, that's the fault of Mother Nature. You can't blame him for Deron Williams's ankles, or Brook Lopez's ankles, or Andrei Kirilenko's back, unless you think Kidd has a direct line to the basketball Gods. So what is it?
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