Jason Kidd’s Relationship With Lawrence Frank Detailed [Updated]
The Brooklyn Nets are a mess.
A team full of high hopes and championship aspirations are merely struggling to stay in the playoff picture with a 5-13 start of their season, and many of their star players glued to the bench due to injury.
In an article today by Yahoo! Sports Adrian Wojnarowski the relationship was detailed, showing how it had deteriorated within recent months.
Hours after a blowout loss to the Orlando Magic – Kidd’s first game on the bench following a two-game suspension to start the season – the entire coaching staff witnessed Kidd lose his temper with Frank and escalate a strangely uneasy and brief coaching partnership together.
“With Jason,” one league source told Yahoo Sports, “once he turns on you, he turns. That’s how he was as a player, and that’s what we’re seeing again now.”
Around the Nets, officials and players insisted that Frank had returned to the organization as exactly who he had always been: prepared, organized, hardworking and strong in his convictions. Kidd had hired Frank to have a strong hand in the day-to-day coaching, game planning and practice preparation of the team, but quickly changed course in his desire for Frank to be such a force within the staff, league sources said.
Frank has always had strong opinions, but it is the head coach’s job to sift through the advice and make the ultimate choices. “He was loyal,” one league coaching source with knowledge of the dynamic told Yahoo Sports.
Kidd had come to differ with Frank’s beliefs on how the Nets should defend, league sources said, but those had been strategies that the coaching staff had hammered out together throughout the summer and training camp.
ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk and Marc Stein have even more details on the relationship.
“Sources say the relationship soured after assistant coach Joe Prunty was chosen as interim coach instead of Frank when Kidd served a two-game suspension to start the season. Two sources say Frank appeared to be hurt by the decision.”
“Multiple team sources also say Nets players side with Kidd, respect the first-year head coach and prefer to hear one voice. Kidd initially allowed Frank and assistant coach John Welch to handle the defensive and offensive duties. But Frank had the most head-coaching experience on the staff, and often his voice was the loudest at practices. Two sources say Nets players felt Frank was over-coaching earlier in the season.”
According to Kevin Garnett, this may not even be the end of moves to come for the struggling team.
“I’m sure management will do what they feel is best for this team and organization, and every guy here has to understand that, and that’s the business part of this. You have to expect that and you can’t think that that’s not going to happen or that it does not exist. That’s just the reality and part of the NBA and sports.”
With his top assistant relegated to reporting duty, and the biggest highlight of the season being a spilled soda during the game, the Nets have a lot to work out before they can believe in first year head coach Jason Kidd and a chance at the playoffs.
Both struggling New York basketball teams will face each other at the Barclays Center Thursday as they host the Knicks.