Mark Jackson

Mark Jackson says Kidd made right call demoting Frank. (AP)

Mark Jackson says he "cannot speak about Jason Kidd and Lawrence Frank," because he has not been present for the specific situation.

But speaking with reporters before Wednesday night's game against the Brooklyn Nets, the Golden State Warriors head coach said in no uncertain terms that he sided with Kidd regarding his decision to demote Frank from his bench.
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Jason Kidd, Deron Williams

Jason Kidd, Deron Williams (AP)

Brooklyn Nets training camp was often the Lawrence Frank show, with the diminutive former head coach teaching, poking, prodding, and once again teaching every step of his defensive philosophy. His style contrasted sharply with Nets head coach Jason Kidd, who was a former player under Frank, and Kidd demoted Frank two weeks ago to doing "daily reports" on the team about whatever he wanted to write.

The Nets lost two straight games following the demotion, and have since won four of their last five. They've noticed a difference in how they play -- some schematic, some communicative, and some just find refreshment in the change of pace in practice.... MORE →

 

Lawrence Frank, Joe Prunty

Assistant Lawrence Frank (right) will no longer have an active role in Nets games and practices. (AP)

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.

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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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Jason Kidd, Lawrence Frank

Lawrence Frank (right) will no longer be on the sidelines. (AP)

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."

 

Jason Kidd, Lawrence Frank

Jason Kidd & lead assistant Lawrence Frank dishing strategy in training camp. (AP)


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Jason Kidd, Lawrence Frank

Jason Kidd, Lawrence Frank (AP)

The coaching search is officially over. The Brooklyn Nets have agreed in principle to contracts with Lawrence Frank, Roy Rogers, and Eric Hughes as Jason Kidd's assistant coaches, the team announced today. Doug Overton will stay on the staff from last season, making him the only assistant that will return.

“I am very pleased to add Lawrence, Roy, Eric and Doug to my staff,” Kidd said in a statement. “They collectively bring a wealth of NBA experience to our bench, both from a coach and player perspective. This combination will not only prove beneficial to me, but will be an invaluable asset to our players as well.”

Kidd had pursued Frank, the franchise's all-time coaching victories leader, relentlessly since he signed on as the team's head coach, and will make Frank his top assistant.

Rogers has worked with Frank in three different stops -- with the Nets as an assistant under Frank, with the Celtics as an assistant with Frank under Doc Rivers, and with the Pistons as an assistant under Frank again -- and also served as a scout with the Nets.

Hughes coached Kidd at the University of California when Kidd was a freshman. He spent the past six seasons with the Toronto Raptors, workingf as the director of summer player development for Goodwin Sports Management in Seattle for five years (2002-2007) before that. With Goodwin, Hughes created workout programs for players like Jamal Crawford, Kevin Durant, Al Horford, Dwight Howard, Gary Payton, Nate Robinson and Rodney Stuckey.

 

From Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN:

Kidd had been unabashedly pursuing Frank publicly for the last couple of weeks. Frank, who has been at home taking care of personal matters, was weighing his options since leaving the Detroit Pistons last season.

Frank will lead Kidd's staff as his top assistant, joining former Nets assistant & scout Roy Rogers, and Eric Hughes, who coached Kidd at the University of California for one season.

 

According to Wikipedia, "Roy Rogers, born Leonard Franklin Slye (November 5, 1911 – July 6, 1998), was an American singer and cowboy actor, one of the most heavily marketed and merchandised stars of his era, as well as being the namesake of the Roy Rogers Restaurants franchised chain. He and his wife Dale Evans, his golden palomino, Trigger, and his German Shepherd dog, Bullet, were featured in more than 100 movies and The Roy Rogers Show. The show ran on radio for nine years before moving to television from 1951 through 1957. His productions usually featured a sidekick, often either Pat Brady (who drove a Jeep called "Nellybelle"), Andy Devine, or the crotchety George "Gabby" Hayes. Rogers's nickname was "King of the Cowboys" and Evans's nickname was "Queen of the West"."

Oh, wait. Not that Roy Rogers.

This Roy Rogers played in parts of three years in the NBA before floating between the D-League and Europe, and was briefly an assistant coach and scout for the Nets. He was an assistant under Lawrence Frank from 2008-10, before serving as an assistant with -- you guessed it -- Lawrence Frank with the Boston Celtics, leaving after one season to work with the Detroit Pistons under -- hmm, I wonder -- Lawrence Frank.

 

Lawrence Frank Jason Kidd

Frank, Kidd in NJ. (AP)

On an interview with Mike and Mike on ESPN this morning, new Brooklyn Nets head coach Jason Kidd confirmed that he doesn't have a staff of assistant coaches put together yet, but former New Jersey Nets coach Lawrence Frank is welcome to be his top assistant.

"The invitation is out there," Kidd said of Frank.

Frank coached Kidd throughout Kidd's entire career as a player with the Nets, first as an assistant from 2001-03, then as a head coach from 2003-08.

The Nets have acknowledged that Kidd will have a steep learning curve as a head coach, and want to surround him with top, experienced assistants. Nets general manager Billy King joked yesterday that Rasheed Wallace and Grant Hill, both recently retired NBA players, will not be joining Kidd on the sidelines.

Frank, most recently a head coach with the Detroit Pistons, was fired by the team this past year and has spent much of his time at his home in New Jersey taking care of his wife, who is sick.

 

Jason Kidd (AP)

NBA players and coaches, current and former, sounded off in the media and on Twitter on the prospect of Jason Kidd as head coach. Judging by their reactions, it seems like most of the league is in his corner, even his former coach, Avery Johnson. Though it appears Patrick Ewing Jr.'s not so happy. ... MORE →