Brooklyn Nets: Lawrence Frank

Vote: Those fill in the blank Nets!?!

December, 10, 2013
12/10/13
11:48
AM ET


So Brooklyn Nets head coach Jason Kidd reportedly used a "13-letter word" to describe his team during a profanity-laced tirade at (former) assistant coach Lawrence Frank last month.

SportsNation

Which of these 13-letter words best fits the Nets?

  •  
    55%
  •  
    12%
  •  
    7%
  •  
    12%
  •  
    14%

Discuss (Total votes: 3,824)

We'll let you figure out what that 13-letter word was on your own.

But after counting on both hands and three toes, we here at ESPNNewYork.com came up with a few other 13-letter adjectives -- clean ones -- that could stand in for the 6-14 Nets, who face the Boston Celtics tonight in Brooklyn.

So which one do you like best? Vote in our poll!

Oh, and feel free to add your own 13-letter adjectives in the comments section.

But keep it clean; we're looking for some real creativity here. (With apologies to triskaidekaphobes.)

JVG surprised by Kidd-Frank divorce

December, 4, 2013
12/04/13
6:54
PM ET


Jeff Van Gundy said he was caught off guard when he found out Jason Kidd had a falling out with Lawrence Frank and demoted his lead assistant.

"I am truly surprised and it really is a disappointing thing," Van Gundy said on "The Mike Lupica Show" on ESPN New York 98.7 FM. "Not only did they share a great bond as a player and coach, I think they were truly great friends. And to let a professional thing come between friendships, I think it really is too bad."

Kidd told reporters reassigned Frank to "doing daily reports," citing "different philosophies." However, sources say Kidd and Frank's relationship soured after assistant Joe Prunty was named the interim head coach for the first two games while Kidd served a suspension, and the rift widened after a blowup between the two coaches.

Despite Kidd and the Nets feeling so strongly that Frank was the perfect mentor for the rookie coach that they signed him to a six-year, $6 million deal, Kidd and the organization decided the right move was to demote Frank.

"I know this about Lawrence Frank, he is an outstanding basketball coach who I think any head coach would be happy to hire him," Van Gundy said. "I couldn’t respect a guy more than him, and I feel for him today because obviously this has got to be a tough period. Everybody I think has followed his career path and for Kidd to make such a move so quickly in his tenure just gives more perception that this thing is not running smoothly."

Van Gundy said the Frank episode and the Nets' disappointing 5-13 start has to have been "a very rude awakening to the coaching profession" for Kidd.

"I wasn’t as concerned with the learning curve as I was, does he know what he is about to get into and is he truly ready for a change in his professional life?" Van Gundy said. "You go from being a player and three weeks later you are a head coach, you are still in basketball but the job descriptions are so much different ... That is why I think it is always beneficial to be an assistant coach first. So that you know is this coaching life for me.

"Is this something I want to be worried about 24 hours a day, 365 days a year?" Van Gundy said. "Do I want to worry about Tyshawn Taylor and Reggie Evans and [Kevin] Garnett and [Paul] Pierce ... So I guess my biggest concern was did he know what he was getting into and would he like what he had gotten himself into after the season started. I don’t know Kidd at all, so I don’t know the answers. But this has been I'm sure a very rude awakening to the coaching profession and how dependent you are on your best players to set the right tone and right attitude and right culture for your team."

Van Gundy says the toughest thing about the Kidd-Frank divorce is a fractured friendship.

"I really feel for Lawrence and Kidd," the ESPN analyst and former Knicks and Rockets coach said. "As you know, if you can have a couple of good friends, that is great. When you lose a friend, that's really disappointing."

Starting Five: How to clean up $190M mess?

December, 4, 2013
12/04/13
8:00
AM ET
NEW YORK -- The Brooklyn Nets are a $190 million mess -- playing "Typical Nets Basketball" on nightly basis. And their players, their coach and their fans are all miserable as a result.

The Nets never seem to outdo themselves, though. Just when you think they've hit rock bottom, there always seems to be more room for them to plummet.

Hours after reassigning assistant Lawrence Frank to a reduced role, Jason Kidd's Nets were blown out yet again, this time by the Denver Nuggets, 111-87, on Tuesday night at Barclays Center.

In their latest debacle, they lacked passion, heart, energy and effort. They were outrebounded (56-37) and outhustled (16-6 in second-chance points). They trailed by as many as 28.

As per usual, the third quarter proved to be their undoing. They were outscored 31-15 in the frame and fell to 0-12 when trailing after three quarters. They were booed throughout the second half. They have lost 11 of their last 14 games.

Luckily, they play in what may turn out to be the worst division ever. Still, following an offseason in which they made splash after splash, it's fair to say that none of their moves have worked.

They may eventually. They just haven't yet. And it's possible they never will.

"We're just not even giving ourselves a chance, and that's the most frustrating thing," said shooting guard Joe Johnson, who led the Nets (5-13) with 22 points.

Center Brook Lopez was upset with his performance and wanted to take the blame for the loss. Lopez scored 10 points in the first quarter and finished with 12. Truth is, it isn't his fault. Not at all.

Lopez faced constant double-teams all night long. And with small forward Paul Pierce, point guard Deron Williams, forward Andrei Kirilenko and guard Jason Terry all out due to injury, the Nets had few offensive options to turn to. So they started misfiring from the perimeter (2-for-16 from 3-point range).

Defensively, they just aren't getting stops. The Nuggets (11-6) shot 50.6 percent and had six different players score in double digits.

The Nets did a lot of talking in the offseason, how they'd be the best team in the city, how they'd compete for a championship. Yet through nearly a quarter of the season, they've yet to win consecutive games. They've been decimated by injury, and those who need to step up as a result, haven't.

All the talking you hear out of them now involves the words "patience" and "process."

And no one wants to hear that. Not now.

"We were trying to figure out how to patch this thing up, how to get this thing together. There's a lot of moving parts to this," power forward Kevin Garnett said. "We can't hang our heads and feel sorry for ourselves because no one in this league is going to feel sorry for us. We need to figure this out soon. I don't think anyone around here is having fun, and losing is definitely not fun."

Something needs to change. But what can change? What is GM Billy King's next move?

The Nets mortgaged their future to win now. It looked good on paper. It just hasn’t translated that way into real life.

Bottom line: it's very likely this team is going to have to turn things around internally.

It may not be what anyone wants to hear. It's just reality.

"I am sure management will do what they feel is best for this team and this organization and every guy has to understand that and that's the business of this," Garnett said. "You have to expect that and you can't think that's not going to happen or that it doesn't exist. That's just reality in the NBA and in sports."

Question: What would you do to fix this team? Can it even be fixed?

In case you missed it: The Nets reassigned Lawrence Frank to a reduced role.

Jason Kidd thinks the Nets and Knicks both stink. Plus, the mystery surrounding Paul Pierce's injury is still just that -- a mystery.

Stat of the night: This is probably going to make some people mad. Regardless, ex-New York Knick Timofey Mozgov -- he of Carmelo Anthony blockbuster trade lore -- had 17 points and 20 rebounds against the Nets on Tuesday night in 31 minutes. Yes, it was that bad.

Up next: The Nets practice Wednesday. I'll have you covered.

Notebook: Kirilenko 'most likely' out

October, 30, 2013
10/30/13
12:23
PM ET
CLEVELAND -- Andrei Kirilenko likely will have to wait to make his Nets debut.

"Kirilenko is most likely out," Jason Kidd said at the morning shootaround.

Kirilenko was wearing an ice wrap around his back to try to calm down back spasms that have sidelined him recently. Alan Anderson is expected to see more minutes off the bench.

No Kidding: Kidd did not reveal who will be his replacement for tonight's game against Cleveland while he serves the first of a two-game suspension.

"I have talked to Billy [King and] I don’t have to name anyone," Kidd said of his talk with the Nets GM. "I have to just appoint someone to talk to (the media)."

The expectation is that Lawrence Frank will pretty much guide the Nets in Kidd's absence. Kidd said he will watch the game from the team's hotel in Cleveland.

"I don't think it changes anything," Kevin Garnett said of Kidd not being on the sideline. "This is his system. Anything that will be done will obviously be reported back to him. Lawrence is going to probably hold us down until he gets back and we will adjust accordingly."

Kidd on Game 1: 'I'll be there in spirit'

October, 29, 2013
10/29/13
5:21
PM ET
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The Brooklyn Nets will kick off the 2013-14 regular season on Wednesday night when they take on the Cavaliers in Cleveland.

Jason Kidd, however, won't be with them. The first-year head coach is suspended for the first two games of the regular season after pleading guilty in July to driving while ability-impaired.

Kidd will travel with the Nets to Cleveland and go through shootaround with the team, but he’ll have to watch the game somewhere else, probably at the team hotel with a friend.

“I’ll be there in spirit,” Kidd joked. “So again, I said it yesterday, this is the way we’re built. No matter coaches or players, you go with the guys that can go. No matter if I was coaching, the two games [or] tomorrow, I’m still a young, rookie coach and I’m learning. So me not being there gives the guys the opportunity to coach.”

Lead assistant Lawrence Frank likely will coach the team, barring a personal matter. Assistant coach John Welch was George Karl’s right-hand man in Denver for eight years, so he’d be the likely candidate if Frank is unable to make the trip.

“Is there a disappointment? I think it’s a lesson learned. You go with the penalty and move on,” Kidd said. “There’s nothing else to talk about or do. It’s not changing, so it’s behind us.”

• The Nets aren’t worried about how they start, noting the 82-game season is a marathon, not a sprint. After all, the Miami Heat's Big Three started 9-8 after they were put together and ended up in the NBA Finals in Year 1.

“Really it’s how you finish ... it’s how the playoffs go,” point guard Deron Williams said. “But we want to get off to a good start. We want to start off right.”

• Power forward Kevin Garnett has enjoyed being in his new locker room.

“Yes. I will say that we have a bunch of good guys, I mean personality-wise. More importantly, we communicate very well. A lot of guys have similar backgrounds in here, we have some international guys, but it’s a good mix,” Garnett said. “At the end of the day, we all work hard, and the locker room ... I always call it a TV show. Obviously the cameras and things aren’t involved, but if you guys could be a fly on the wall in there, it’s one of the better locker rooms I’ve been in. From a personality and a guys standpoint.

“Obviously I would compare it to 2007-08, which is one of the best teams I’ve ever been on [the championship team in Boston], and my team back in 2003-04 back in Minnesota was a pretty deep team, the personality was great, as far as depth and stuff. Those were similar, but this is probably the best out of all of those teams, if not similar.”

Garnett doesn’t think egos will be a problem with this team.

“When you give yourself to the team and to what you’re talking about as the common goal, you don’t have that being a problem,” Garnett said. “I can attest to that. I’ve been a part of a group of talented guys like this team here, and usually when you have problems where you’re head-butting and stuff, it’s because guys can’t get over their egos or whoever they think they are, or someone has been continuously telling them who they are.

“When you come together as a team, you take your faults, I’ll take mine, and we’re gonna go forward with that. If we’re both talking about winning, when it comes to winning times there won’t be any problems. We’ll figure it out, and there will be a common ground. Again, when you have problems on teams like that, it’s usually two guys can’t get over their [expletive] selves.”

Garnett had a funny line when asked about his relationship with center Brook Lopez: “He’s a big Batman guy, I’m a Wolverine guy. So sometimes we clash, but I respect him.”

Notebook: Pierce rests jammed toe

October, 27, 2013
10/27/13
5:38
PM ET
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Paul Pierce sat out practice on Sunday with a jammed toe.

The veteran swingman said the rest was precautionary.

"Just jammed it the other day in the game," Pierce said of the Nets' preseason finale against Miami on Friday. "Just taking a couple of days of rest. Going into the season, you want to make sure you are 100 percent and take the extra precaution."

Head coach Jason Kidd said Pierce deserved "a day off."

Andrei Kirilenko (back) did not practice and is still considered day-to-day.

"He got some treadmill work in but he didn't do anything on the floor," Kidd said. "We will see how he feels tomorrow."

Kidd replacement: Kidd isn't ready to reveal who will coach in his place while he serves his two-game suspension against Cleveland and Miami this week.

"We haven't made a decision on who's going to coach," Kidd said.

Lawrence Frank is expected to be the interim coach barring unforeseen circumstances.

"I played under Coach Frank before, he was a Boston assistant and he was our defensive guru," Pierce said. "And he pretty much is playing the role here that he played with us in Boston."

"He has been a head coach in this league," Pierce continued. "He is comfortable in that role. He was just head coach of Detroit and has been head coach here in New Jersey. He is comfortable in that role and the guys respect him and respect what he has to say to us."

Brooklyn Nets finalize coaching staff

August, 20, 2013
8/20/13
4:14
PM ET
The Brooklyn Nets finalized Jason Kidd's coaching staff Tuesday, officially adding John Welch, Joe Prunty and Charles Klask. The team also named Jim Sann as an advanced scout.

Welch served as an assistant to George Karl in Denver for the last eight seasons. He sat next to Kidd during Brooklyn's Summer League games.

The Nets believe the additions of veterans Welch and Lawrence Frank will help ease Kidd's transition from player to head coach.

Prunty recently served as an assistant in Cleveland for the last three seasons. Klask was an assistant in Detroit for the last two seasons.

Kidd's coaching staff also includes Roy Rogers and Eric Hughes.

Rapid Reaction: Rockets 92, Nets 76

July, 11, 2013
7/11/13
6:21
PM ET
Brooklyn Nets coach Jason Kidd watched from the scorer's table alongside top assistant Lawrence Frank as their team fell to 0-4 in Summer League play following a 92-76 loss to the Houston Rockets on Thursday in Orlando, Fla. Assistant Eric Hughes coached the team.

HELLO? COACH KIDD SPEAKING: With the Nets trailing 17-2 in the first quarter, Kidd went out of the gym to take a phone call. No, it isn't a big deal at all. Still kind of funny, though. Kidd also talked with soon-to-be executive vice president of basketball operations Rod Thorn, who brought Kidd to New Jersey with a blockbuster trade.

AVOIDING A SCARE: Tyshawn Taylor suffered what appeared to be a right leg injury after colliding into the stanchion following a made field goal late in the first half. But he returned to the game for the second half. According to reporters in Orlando, Taylor left in a walking boot after spraining his right ankle, but plans to play Friday.

FIRST QUARTER WOES: The Nets trailed 25-6 after the first quarter. They shot 2-for-18 from the field in the period and had more turnovers (seven) than points.

UP NEXT: Nets vs. Sixers on Friday at 4 p.m.

Source: Frank to join Nets staff

June, 27, 2013
6/27/13
3:47
PM ET
Lawrence Frank has decided to join Jason Kidd's staff with the Brooklyn Nets as his lead assistant coach, a league source told ESPNNewYork.com.

Frank, who coached Kidd during most of his tenure as the Nets' head coach 2003-04 to 2009-10, is a vital piece for Kidd's coaching staff. It was important that Kidd get an experienced assistant to help him make the transition from player to head coach.

Click here for the complete news story.

Nets still intent on hiring Frank, Rogers

June, 24, 2013
6/24/13
4:36
PM ET
The Brooklyn Nets remain confident a deal will be finalized to secure Lawrence Frank as an assistant coach on Jason Kidd's staff, ESPN.com's Marc Stein tweeted Monday.

The Nets are also "pretty close" to hiring Roy Rogers as an assistant coach, a league source confirmed to ESPNNewYork.com over the weekend.

Nets GM Billy King said Monday that announcements would be coming in a couple days, regarding official additions to Kidd's staff.

King said he would talk "soon" to the assistants already under contract: Popeye Jones, Mario Elie, Patrick Spurgin and Doug Overton.

It seems unlikely that Elie will be back. He told CSN Houston recently that Dwight Howard should go to Houston to play for the Rockets.

"Hopefully, Dwight Howard, you've got to come down to Texas, man," Elie said. "No state taxes, ain't no pressure down here. You don't have to worry about L.A., Hollywood or Brooklyn. Texas is great. The fans are terrific down here. We support. We're not like the Miami fans leaving when the game's not even over. We stay until the end here in Houston. Come on down to Texas, Dwight."

Source: 'Pretty close' to hiring Roy Rogers

June, 22, 2013
6/22/13
8:47
PM ET
The Brooklyn Nets are "pretty close" to hiring Roy Rogers as an assistant coach on Jason Kidd's staff, a league source confirmed Saturday.

The team is still awaiting a decision from Lawrence Frank on the other assistant coaching spot. The Nets interviewed both Rogers and Frank on Tuesday, Kidd said earlier this week.

Rogers was an assistant under Frank for two seasons with the New Jersey Nets. Most recently, Rogers served as an assistant to Frank with the Detroit Pistons.

It's unknown if Frank will elect to join the Nets, because his wife is dealing with an undisclosed illness.

Frank coached Kidd when he played for the Nets from 2003-08.

Yahoo! Sports earlier reported that the Nets were close to hiring Rogers.

Kidd wants Frank on coaching staff

June, 14, 2013
6/14/13
11:22
AM ET
Brooklyn Nets coach Jason Kidd has offered Lawrence Frank the opportunity to be an assistant coach on his staff.

"The invitation is out there, so it's up to him," Kidd said Friday on ESPN Radio's "Mike & Mike."

"He's in a special situation. He's at home, his wife is sick, so I understand coming off of coaching [the Detroit Pistons] and [possibly] wanting a year off with his family, so I respect that. The big thing is he knows how much I love him and how much I need him, but family comes first, and I respect that."

Frank lives in New Jersey. His wife underwent emergency surgery in March for an undisclosed illness, and Frank said then that she faces a long recovery.

Click here for the complete news story.

Frank: Kidd 'could be a great head coach'

June, 10, 2013
6/10/13
9:47
AM ET


Jason Kidd's former coach, Lawrence Frank, thinks the future Hall of Fame point guard would make a fine coach.

"I think Jason could become a great coach," Frank said on NBC's "Mike'd Up" on Sunday night. "Think about his training: 19 years of playing, an NBA championship, two Olympic gold medals. ... [He's] one of the smartest players to ever play the game, a great leader who has a great presence. I think Jason could be a great head coach."

Frank coached Kidd from 2003-08, when both were with the Nets. Kidd, whose playing career ended with his retirement last week, is hoping to become the Brooklyn Nets' next head coach. Sources told ESPN.com he'll meet with GM Billy King early this week to discuss the possibility of taking over the job.

"Not only did he change a team in terms of culture," Frank said of Kidd's impact on the Nets when they were in New Jersey, "he changed the culture of the whole organization. He made players better, he made coaches better, management better, the owners better."

Frank pointed out that Kidd ranks second all-time in assists and steals, made more 3-pointers than Larry Bird and grabbed more rebounds than Alonzo Mourning, "yet at the end of the day, Jason's about letters, he's not about the numbers. He's about wins and losses. He's one of the fiercest competitors I've ever been around, truly one of the all-time greats."

Frank reflects on time in New Jersey

February, 9, 2012
2/09/12
2:43
PM ET
On Oct. 30, 2001, Jason Kidd's debut with the Nets was overshadowed by Game 3 of the World Series and Michael Jordan's return to the Garden.

Pistons coach Lawrence Frank couldn't tell you that Roger Clemens pitched the Yankees past the Diamondbacks that night, or that Jordan's Wizards fell to the Knicks. But, more than a decade later, he can tell you exactly what happened inside Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, N.J.

"To me, where it all started was the first year when we got Jason, on opening night," Frank, a former Nets coach, recalled before Wednesday night's Nets-Pistons game at Prudential Center in Newark.

Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty ImagesLawrence Frank and Jason Kidd


"We had around 5,600 people here in the stands [close, the official box score said 8,749]. It was during a World Series game, and we're playing the Pacers. We're down 11 heading into the fourth quarter. We put Kidd on Reggie Miller and [Kerry Kittles] on Jalen Rose. They played like Rottweilers and turned the game around and we won the game at the end, and then you just knew it was gonna be a different Nets team."

Prior to the Kidd era, the Nets had made the playoffs just once in a seven-season span. But they acquired the All-Star point guard in a blockbuster trade the day after the 2001 NBA draft, and it took only one game for Frank -- an assistant under Byron Scott at the time -- to realize that the Nets had something special brewing.

They trailed the Pacers 79-68 after the first three quarters but outscored Indiana 35-18 in the final period to claim a 103-97 victory behind Kidd's near-triple-double of 14 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists.

The Nets went on to reach the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history in 2001-02, and repeated the feat in 2002-03.

"It's hard to beat going to the Finals," Frank said. "That's as significant as anything."

Frank got his first chance to be a head coach in the NBA in 2004, after Scott was fired, and wound up winning his first 13 games -- a league record.

"We just focused on one game at a time," said Frank, who was 33 at the time. "And it wound up to the point where we just strung some wins together."

Frank went on to compile a 225-241 record with the Nets, taking the team to the playoffs in each of his first four seasons at the helm. But after failing to qualify for the postseason in the next two years, Frank's 2009-10 squad got off to an 0-16 start, which led to his dismal. That season, the Nets became just the fifth team in NBA history to lose 70 or more games.

Barring some sort of miracle, Wednesday night's game -- a game in which his Pistons ultimately prevailed over the Nets, 99-92 -- is likely the final game Frank will ever coach in his home state. The Nets will move into the $1 billion Barclays Center in Brooklyn next season.

"The building we're playing in isn't the same, so that’s different,” said Frank, who was raised in Teaneck, still has a house in New Jersey and added that many of his family members still reside there. "But there's so many great memories when you talk about the support the team always had through good times and bad, and just how the franchise turned around with the Jason Kidd trade, and the years of success we had once we made that deal.

"It’s time for a new beginning for them, but as a Jersey guy, it's sad that this is going to be the last time. But you never know how it turns out. I was reading that [Newark mayor] Cory Booker wants to try to attract another team here, and this is a basketball-rich state with a ton of tradition, not just as the professional level, but in the high school and collegiate ranks, so it's bittersweet."

SPONSORED HEADLINES

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

NEW YORK CALENDAR