Jason Kidd and Warriors coach Mark Jackson are close. The two talk on the phone often including multiple times this season and the pair were even talking to each other while their teams battled on the court Wednesday night. So it shouldn’t have been a big surprise to hear Jackson stick up for Kidd so strongly when reporters asked about the Lawrence Frank situation.
“I cannot speak about Jason Kidd and Lawrence Frank because I do not know it, but everybody has to know who is in charge, and that’s the head coach,” Jackson said. “He’s the guy calling the shots. I’ve never seen any of the Pips trying to lead. That’s Gladys’ role. Let Gladys be Gladys.”
Frank, who was publicly pursued by Kidd to take the assistant coaches job, was “re-assigned” earlier this season with Kidd citing “philosophical differences” as the reason. The two reportedly did not get along, some felt like Frank was asserting too much control over the team, and Kidd lashed out at Frank verbally on at least one occasion.
“To me, I think too much was made of it. I think it’s clownish,” Jackson said. “There’s no difference of opinions with my staff and I. They give suggestions. Some I go with. Some I don’t. But at the end of the day it’s my decision and we are united in whichever way we decide to go. If you have a problem with that, you should not be my assistant coach. That’s the way I feel about it.
“I am not saying that happened here, but wherever it happens, that should not take place. So just disappointed in the way it was handled and how much credit is given to a head coach and how much fault is given.”
Jackson and Kidd have a close relationship since Jackson was a TV analyst covering the Nets from 2005 to 2008 (Frank was the Nets’ head coach at that point). The fact that, like Kidd, Jackson went straight into coaching without ever being an assistant coach is the reason why Kidd and Jackson have been in contact so much this year.
Frank did hire an attorney presumably to negotiate a buy-out of his six-year, $6 million contract. There hasn’t been much on that recently, but it doesn’t matter as far as the team is concerned. This situation is pretty much over and done with. At this point it’s all on Kidd. If the team keeps winning then maybe he can keep his job, but otherwise he is out of scapegoats.