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In shock to nobody, Lawrence Frank fired in Detroit

Apr 18, 2013, 2:28 PM EDT

Lawrence Frank AP

I officially got off the “Lawrence Frank knows how to build a team” train earlier this season, when Andre Drummond was showing real promise but was being held back so Jason Maxiell could get more minutes. Despite what owner Tom Gores thought, this was not a playoff team, it was a team that needed to take its lumps and learn.

The Pistons are off the Lawrence Frank train as well, or maybe more accurately he was tossed from the Pistons’ train.

As had been expected after a 29-win season (and a 25-win before that), the Pistons fired Frank on Thursday, reports Marc Stein at ESPN.

A meeting Thursday with Pistons owner Tom Gores finally confirmed Frank’s ouster, after Gores offered very tepid public support of his coach when speaking to local reporters earlier this week. Frank was believed to be largely Gores’ choice to replace John Kuester in the summer of 2011, although NBA coaching sources maintain that Pistons president Joe Dumars preferred current Knicks coach Mike Woodson for the job.

The Pistons will confirm this later in the day. Wherever Frank is next season he will still get the $3.7 million the Pistons owe him in salary.

Frank looked like a guy trying to assert some control and save face when he told Gores recently that the team needed to pick up the option year on his contract or not bring him back. Everyone knew this day was coming.

The question is what direction the Pistons go now. For a young team a young coach coming up — Brian Shaw out of Indiana, for example — would be a good fit. But we’ll see what direction an owner who expects to make the playoffs next season chooses to go.

  1. asimonetti88 - Apr 18, 2013 at 2:38 PM

    The Nets had that 13 game winning streak right when Frank got promoted and I feel like the reputation he got from that is the only reason he’s still around as a head coach.

    • patfic15 - Apr 18, 2013 at 3:03 PM

      I always think about this streak when I hear Frank’s name.

    • abasketballthing - Apr 18, 2013 at 6:51 PM

      It’s the same reason why outsiders think PJ Carlesimo has done a good job with this season’s Nets, when he’s been quite mediocre.

  2. 4thquartermagic - Apr 18, 2013 at 2:54 PM

    Stayed on as long as he did because no one was tripping over themselves to take his place.

  3. thomaskouns - Apr 18, 2013 at 3:00 PM

    Joe Dumars had his hey-day as a GM but he lost the magic and as a result another coach takes the fall.

    The Pistons actually finished better than most scouts predicted they would.

  4. djlexluger - Apr 18, 2013 at 3:02 PM

    He’s a good defensive coach, but no one can win with that roster.

  5. aiotbbb - Apr 18, 2013 at 3:31 PM

    In shock to nobody, Helin uses the same line for the umpteenth time

    • scalfor3 - Apr 18, 2013 at 11:58 PM

      PBT will delete your comment. Maybe.

  6. cantonbound13 - Apr 18, 2013 at 4:57 PM

    Isiah Thomas? I can’t even say that without laughing.

  7. Mr. Wright 212 - Apr 18, 2013 at 5:04 PM

    How does he try to give an ultimatum and then get fired right afterward? LMFAO!

    • scalfor3 - Apr 18, 2013 at 11:59 PM

      He’s getting 3.7 mill next year to NOT coach that horrible roster. Good deal for him.

  8. wsuperman4445 - Apr 18, 2013 at 5:38 PM

    you can say what you may, but a coach that would get the most out of this Piston’s team while providing entertainment of his own would be Stan van Gundy think about it? it works! look at how he got the most out of some former unknowns in Orlando and that team ended up in the finals!

  9. abasketballthing - Apr 18, 2013 at 6:53 PM

    Frank can be great for the right team, but the Pistons, or any young developing team, are not a good fit. If you give him an experienced team with good offensive players, he can make the defense elite and turn it into a contender, but he can’t develop a lottery team or handle losing seasons well.

  10. metrocritical - Apr 19, 2013 at 10:10 AM

    Lawrence Frank seems like a good guy. A smart guy. High basketball IQ. But as a head coach on a team with talent issues? It’s like trying to convert a point guard into a center.

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