Detroit Pistons: Why Lawrence Frank Will Restore Detroit to Respectability

Cecil RileyCorrespondent IIJuly 22, 2011

Frank is the first step in many on the road to success in Detroit.
Frank is the first step in many on the road to success in Detroit.Christian Petersen/Getty Images

All sources have indicated that former New Jersey Nets head coach Lawrence Frank will become the next head coach of the Detroit Pistons.  The recent moves made by the Pistons have been questionable, but the hiring of Frank will most certainly go down as a turning point in the franchise's rich history.

Frank is not your typical NBA head coach.  Born in New York City and raised in Teaneck, N.J., Frank never played basketball at even a high school level.  He attended Indiana University and served as team manager for three seasons under college basketball legend, Bob Knight. 

He earned a position as an assistant coach at the University of Tennessee under head coach Kevin O'Neill.  After three seasons with the Volunteers, Frank was hired by the recently formed Vancouver Grizzlies under head coach Brian Hill.

Frank's big break came in early 2004.  Byron Scott allegedly feuded with his all-star point guard and was subsequently relieved of his head coaching duties.  Frank, who was serving as lead assistant, was chosen the take the helm in an interim role. 

The result of the coaching change was a 13-game winning streak, to date, the longest winning streak for a first-time head coach in NBA history.  Frank finished the season with a 25-15 record and was subsequently named head coach following the 2004 season.

After moderate success, Frank was let go by the Nets in 2009 after starting the season 0-16 and has served as an analyst for NBA TV until being hired as an assistant for the Celtics in 2010.

Pistons should rejoice in the hire.  In Frank, you are getting an agile thinker with a defensive mindset.  He is a coach the makes everyone accountable for the product the put on the floor. 

Former Coach John Kuester, in many ways, was a victim of bad circumstance.  Burdened by a redundant roster of ill-fitting parts, Kuester continued to jostle playing time between young talent and veteran players, creating a negative atmosphere in the locker room, ultimately resulting in what many refer to a mutiny behind the scenes.

If given the opportunity and necessary input on personnel, Frank can help create a competitive team who, with the amount of potential talent, can return the Detroit Pistons to respectability sooner rather than later. 

While no miracle-worker, the Pistons have made a great choice.