Jackson staunchly defends Kidd on Frank

January, 8, 2014
Jan 8
7:53
PM ET
NEW YORK –- Mark Jackson staunchly defended Jason Kidd and his decision to demote lead assistant coach Lawrence Frank.

Before facing Kidd as coach for the first time, Jackson said any coach has to establish a singular voice for the team.

"I cannot speak about Jason Kidd and Lawrence Frank because I do not know [all the details]," Jackson said. "But everybody has to know who's in charge. And that's the head coach. He's the guy calling the shots.

[+] EnlargeJackson
Rocky Widner/NBAE/Getty ImagesMark Jackson thinks Lawrence Frank's demotion was much ado about nothing.
"I have never seen any one of The Pips try to lead," Jackson continued. "That's Gladys' role. Let Gladys be Gladys."

Kidd demoted Frank in December after the two could not repair a relationship that had frayed due to "friction" and a difference of agendas, according to sources. When Kidd demoted Frank, Jackson told Bay area reporters that the head coach has to be the only voice for the team.

Jackson has spent time around both Kidd and Frank. He played against Kidd as a player and was a color analyst for YES Network's New Jersey Nets telecasts from 2005 to '08.

"To me, I think too much was made of it," Jackson said of the divorce between Kidd and Frank. "I think it's clownish. 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 is my decision and we are united in whichever way we decide to go. If you have a problem with that, then you should not be my assistant coach.

"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.

"It is a no-lose situation if I am an assistant coach and I get credit when we win. But when we lose, 'Jason can't coach a lick.' The guy is a Hall of Fame basketball player, he is an all-time great, and he is going to be a heck of a basketball coach."

Kidd and Jackson are friends, and the Nets' coach says he has been in regular contact with the Warriors' coach this season.

"Mark is my role model," Kidd said. "He's gone from playing to becoming a head coach and to becoming a very good head coach. I am happy for his success and he has given us guys who have retired from playing an opportunity to do something and that is hopefully become a coach like him."
Ohm Youngmisuk has covered the Giants, Jets and the NFL since 2006. Prior to that, he covered the Nets, Knicks and the NBA for nearly a decade. He joined ESPNNewYork.com after working at the New York Daily News for almost 12 years and is a graduate of Michigan State University.
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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Brook Lopez
PTS AST STL MIN
20.7 0.9 0.5 31.4
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsK. Garnett 6.6
AssistsD. Williams 6.1
StealsD. Williams 1.5
BlocksB. Lopez 1.8