The Nets will now go down in history for the longest winless streak to start an NBA season. They broke the record of seventeen straight losses held by the 88-89 Miami Heat and the 99-00 Los Angeles Clippers. However, Ron Rothstein was not fired and Chris Ford was fired 45 games into the season. Ford had also gone 9-41 in the previous lockout shortened season. Lawrence Frank was fired after the first sixteen games of the season after going 34-48 in the previous season. A pink slip that Lawrence Frank did not deserve.
The roster of the Nets is absolutely deplorable. When completely healthy the Nets put out a starting five of Devin Harris, Chris Douglas-Roberts, Trenton Hassell, Josh Boone, and Brook Lopez. Devin Harris is an All-Star caliber player. Brook Lopez is a solid player on the post but is not able to get his own shot consistently. Outside of those two there are not any major threats. Chris Douglas-Roberts is a fourth or fifth option on most teams in the NBA while Josh Boone and Trenton Hassell should not be starting in the NBA. Yi Jianlian has proven to be a bust since being drafted out of China. Not only does he lack solid basketball skills, but has been called out about his work ethic, or lack there of, by Yao Ming. The bench does not inspire any more confidence. Rafer Alston is shooting a little over 33% from the field and has not come close to approaching the form he was in when he stepped in for Jameer Nelson in Orlando. Courtney Lee's play has regress as a member of the Nets. Without players like Dwight Howard, Rashard Lewis, and Hedo Turkoglu taking up a defense's attention, Lee is not able to score as efficiently. In fact his 3PT shooting has gone from a little over 40% to a little over 22%. Simmons, Najera, and Williams are lucky to find jobs in the NBA and on any other team they would probably lead the lead in DNP Coach's Decision.
That roster may be putrid, but the team could no stay healthy as well. Devin Harris missed the first nine games of the season. A team this bad could not dream about winning any games without their best player. Devin Harris has yet to get fully back to the playing the high level of basketball that made him an All-Star. At one point in the season, seven of their rotational players were injured. Are any of those injuries or the horrible roster Lawrence Frank's fault?
Frank was also a casualty of the Nets plan to be major players for the free agents of 2010. They had already gotten rid of Richard Jefferson and over the summer they dealt their best all around offensive player in Vince Carter to the Magic. These moves have left the Nets with a roster that couldn't compete with last year's North Carolina Tar Heels.
A coach's job is to put his players in the best opportunities to make plays and also to keep his team motivated. Lawrence Frank did this for the Nets. He put his players in optimal positions to shoot and score but the Nets can't put a basketball into the Atlantic Ocean. Their effort is not gone. They still give it their all, especially on the defensive end. Now the Nets have replaced Frank with Kiki Vandeweghe. If the Nets want to attract free agents, how does putting Kiki Vandeweghe in that position help? At least Lawrence Frank had experience coaching winning teams. Now the Nets either have to stay with Kiki or find a big name coach who can attract those free agents to the Izod Center with the latter being rather improbable.
With plans for the future more important than the present, an abominable roster, and a plague of injuries, Lawrence Frank was doomed to fail.