Byron Scott coached the Jason Kidd-led Nets to two straight NBA Finals appearances in 2002 and 2003. In Scott’s fourth year as coach, things didn’t end well: Scott was dismissed as head coach after a 22-20 start during the 03′-04′ season, with Kidd taking much of the blame. Scott was replaced by his loyal assistant coach, Lawrence Frank.
Kidd & Frank developed a professional relationship, one that ultimately led to Kidd publicly imploring Frank to join him on the sidelines as his top assistant once Kidd earned the head coaching job… only to dump him a month into the season.
The New York Post recently caught up with the former coach and asked his opinion of the well-publicized Frank-Kidd breakup. Though Scott didn’t see it coming in the team’s first month, he saw it coming:
“It does surprise me a little that it happened so quickly,” Scott told The Post, admitting he had not been aware of Tuesday’s bombshell move when Kidd demoted his former lead assistant Frank because of philosophical differences. “But it’s safe to say that I’m not [surprised] it happened at all because of the personalities involved.”
Scott made sure to distinguish the fact that he wasn’t around the Nets this season and thus didn’t know the details of what transpired between Kidd and Frank. He did though, give an explanation as to why he thinks the ugly breakup occurred:
“In Jason and Lawrence, I detect two very strong-willed people who don’t back down,” Scott said. “I could easily see maybe Jason getting to the point where he felt Lawrence was over-stepping his bounds.”
Scott later talked about his relationship with each man. With Frank, it’s a friendly and cordial one:
“I remained very friendly, very cordial with Lawrence. We always spoke at games where we coached against each other,” Scott said. “Same when he was on Doc’s [Rivers] staff in Boston.”
With Kidd, it’s a little uneasy:
“It was just, ‘Hi, hello, how are you doing coach?’ last season when he was with the Knicks and I was in Cleveland,” Scott said. “But he’s not inviting me to his house for dinner and I’m not inviting him to my house for dinner.”
Scott later told The Post that the last time he saw Kidd was in the news where he was being fined for his soda-spilling incident. Scott says the trick was “wrong,” and that a $50,000 fine wasn’t enough: “I thought he should’ve been fined $100,000.”
Scott, now a grandfather of one, is doing TV work for the Los Angeles Lakers. Though he says he’d like to get back into coaching, he is content with his current lifestyle.