Jason Kidd (left) has demoted assistant coach Lawrence Frank. (Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty Images)
Nets coach Jason Kidd has decided to remove Lawrence Frank from his bench, re-assigning the veteran assistant coach to report-filing duties.
The first-year coach made the unusual announcement on Tuesday in the hours before Brooklyn hosted Denver on Tuesday night. The New York Post reports that Kidd refused to go into detail about the decision, saying only that "different philosophies" led to the change, which will also keep Frank away from team practices. Kidd also said he will no longer have "coordinators" to run his offense and defense.
Kidd was hired by the Nets in June less than two weeks after he announced his retirement following a 19-year playing career. Frank, who spent the last two seasons coaching the Pistons, was hired a few weeks later. Frank coached Kidd when the latter played for the Nets, and that relationship was supposed to help ease Kidd into life as a head coach.
The New York Daily News reported last week that there was developing "friction" between the two men and that "something has changed" with their relationship. Yahoo! Sports reported Tuesday that Kidd and Frank got into a disagreement during a meeting in early November that may have played a role in the falling out. Meanwhile, ESPN.com reports that Nets assistant Joe Prunty will fill in any gaps created by Frank's departure.
Brooklyn entered Tuesday night with a 5-12 record despite a payroll that tops $100 million in salary and a potential starting lineup made up of five recent All-Stars. This season has been marred by various injuries to Deron Williams, Brook Lopez and Andrei Kirilenko, and Paul Pierce was recently lost to a hand injury that will sideline him for at least two weeks.
Kidd has generated his own negative headlines, too. He was suspended for the first two games of the season after pleading guilty in a DWI case and he was fined $50,000 by the NBA last week when he intentionally spilled soda on the court to delay a game.
Frank, 43, has a career coaching record of 279-335 (.454) over nine seasons with the Nets and Pistons. ESPNNY.com reported in July
that he was the league's highest-paid assistant coach, earning more than $1 million per year.