Brooklyn Nets first-year head coach Jason Kidd received plenty of fallout for the team’s rocky start and the reassignment of assistant coach Lawrence Frank to “doing daily reports” back in December. Responsibilities for the latter, however, may in fact be tied to general manager Billy King.
“In order for [Jason] to be successful, I had to make a decision, so I said, ‘Let’s reassign him,’” King said in an interview with NBA TV, relayed by A.J. Perez of NJ.com. “He does his report -- I got it this morning -- and he’s helping from afar. But I believe in Jason and so to give him the ability to be successful, we had to make that decision.”
It’s interesting to note that King didn’t step in and say that reassigning Frank was his decision from the get-go. Kidd was firmly planted on the coaching hot seat at the time, and he certainly would have benefited from any news distancing him from the Frank debacle.
But Frank 'wouldn't stop talking,' the second coaching source countered.
And several outlets have reported Frank was angered that Kidd chose assistant Joe Prunty instead of him to coach the team in his absence while Kidd served his DUI suspension at the start of the regular season.
The denouement came in the now well-reported blowup Kidd had with Frank, where Kidd, according to a source, told Frank: 'Sit the (bleep) down! I'm the coach of this (13-letter word) team! When you're on the bench, don't (bleeping) move!'
The man patrolling Brooklyn’s sidelines deserves plenty of credit for the team’s unthinkable turnaround, especially considering he accomplished it without the injured Brook Lopez. Nevertheless, the friction between the two coaches was an unsightly distraction from the team’s championship goals.
The move to demote Frank has certainly paid off in Brooklyn, though. After bottoming out at the end of 2013 with a 10-21 record, the Nets finished at 44-38—earning them the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference.
Failing to do so would likely put Kidd, and King, back on the hot seat.