Brooklyn Eagle Sports was down for a week starting the night before Thanksgiving. We were having some technical difficulties which appear to be 100 percent behind us. Unfortunately that meant that we didn’t cover a few of bigger Brooklyn Nets stories that happened — Brook Lopez returned, Paul Pierce broke his hand and assistant coach Lawrence Frank was “reassigned” and removed from the bench.
I’ll get to the Pierce situation a little later today, but first I want to discuss the L-Frank situation because it is ongoing.
First of all, this story broke on Tuesday just before the game against the Denver Nuggets. Jason Kidd dropped the bomb on reporters.
“Lawrence has been reassigned to doing daily reports and he won’t be sitting on the bench or at practice,” Kidd said. “There’s the change. It doesn’t change the coaching staff. Guys will still be there sitting on the bench. That’s that.”
When Kidd was asked if there was a specific reason or incident that caused the change, he said, “No, it’s just different philosophies. That’s all.”
Behind the scenes was a different story. According to various reports, Kidd and Frank have been at odds with each other since the very beginning. Kidd was even said to have “blown up” at Frank after an early November preseason game. Apparently, Frank may have overstepped his bounds as assistant with players and other assistant coaches and this was Kidd’s way to reassert his authority.
Reports also indicate that Frank had a problem with the fact that he wasn’t picked to be the Nets interim head coach during the first two games of the season when Kidd was suspended for his DUI plea.
Other reports that indicate that Frank is under contract over the next six years at over $1 million per year which is likely the reason why they haven’t fired him.
All of this took everyone by surprise. Yes, there were rumblings before this that the two weren’t getting along, but Kidd and Frank have been connected together ever since Kidd orchestrated the hiring of Frank by the Nets roughly 10 years ago. A big part of why Kidd got hired was that he sold the Nets on the idea of hiring Frank to help show him the ropes, he even went on a national morning TV show to stump for Frank.
Then, barely more than a month into the season, Frank is off the bench, he won’t be going to practice, instead he’s simply to watch the games and then file a written report.
In the fall out of all of this, Tim Bontemps and Fred Kerber of the NY Post have reported that Frank, the highest paid assistant coach in the NBA, has hired legal counsel with the likely idea of settling on a buyout with the Nets. $6 million is a lot to walk away from after all.
The Nets don’t plan on replacing Frank. Kidd, who was the one who championed the idea of having an offensive and defensive coach (Frank was the defensive coach) said that they will now all just be coaches with no specific duties.