Jul 16, 2010, 1:58 PM EDT
Prior to his hiring as the head coach of the Chicago Bulls, Tom Thibodeau’s influence was rumored to be the stuff of legend. He was the architect of the NBA’s best defense. A coaching mastermind, waiting in the wings. I heard he once made Kendrick Perkins smile and made Kevin Garnett cry. His pedigree as a defensive coach is undeniable, and he’s supposedly as intense as any coach in the league.
His departure leaves some pretty huge shoes to fill, but Doc Rivers and the Celtics have gotten off to a good start in finding a very suitable replacement. According to Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Celtics have hired former Nets head coach Lawrence Frank to step in as Rivers’ top assistant.
Frank is a basketball coach, which is rarer in these ranks than it should be. Securing a coaching gig has become an incredibly political process, and guys like Frank — hard-working, well-schooled, versed in the game’s more detailed mechanics — are often the victims of the NBA Good Ol’ Boys’ Club. Not here. Rivers was looking for a top-notch coach to help him lead his staff, and that’s exactly what he got with Lawrence Frank.