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Joe Johnson says players noticed friction between Jason Kidd and Lawrence Frank

Dec 4, 2013, 11:01 AM EDT

Brooklyn Nets v Charlotte Bobcats Getty Images

Imagine being in a management position at your job, and supervising one of your better employees for a somewhat extended period of time. Then flash forward years later, when for a variety of reasons, you accept a position working for your former employee, who now has your old job. And while your former employee knows the business as well as anyone, he doesn’t have the uniquely specific experience (or any experience, for that matter) of being in this management role.

How difficult would it be for you to stand by and watch as this person was going about things the wrong way, while his questionable decisions were reflected in the disastrous results?

That sums up the situation with the Nets, where head coach Jason Kidd essentially parted ways with assistant coach Lawrence Frank on Tuesday. Frank, of course, coached Kidd the player for multiple seasons in New Jersey.

Later that night, after Brooklyn was blown out by the Nuggets, Joe Johnson said that the friction between the coaches was something that didn’t go unnoticed by the players.

From Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News:

The friction was noticeable to Joe Johnson.

“Guys do notice it. I know I surely noticed it. Something just wasn’t quite right,” the Nets guard told The News. “But that has nothing to do with how we played (Tuesday night). That was just a carbon copy of our season, to be honest with you.”

Kidd went so far Tuesday as to deny he needed Frank to transition into coaching. The two had a close relationship before this season, but quickly butted heads as Kidd made an uneasy entry into coaching, according to sources.

“I’ve been (coaching) from Day 1,” Kidd said. “I understand what it means to be a coach. That’s what I’ve been doing since summer league.”

To give Kidd some credit, coaches need to have a strong vision of how they want to do things, otherwise players won’t believe and the entire system will collapse. And in a situation like the one the 5-13 Nets are experiencing, any perceived rift or negativity from the coaching staff could quickly tear a team apart.

But this seems like more of a move to scapegoat Frank for the horrendous start than anything else.

There have been varying reports as to what was going on behind the scenes that may have led to the fracture, but some of that might be disinformation being spread to keep Kidd’s reputation intact.

All of the injuries suffered in Brooklyn thus far will make for a fine (and honestly, completely legitimate) reason for Kidd to finish out the season, no matter the results. The reality is that we don’t yet know if Kidd will make for a successful NBA head coach, but with the situation being what it is, he’s going to get plenty of opportunity to prove himself one way or the other.

  1. timberwolvesbrisin - Dec 4, 2013 at 11:04 AM

    Jason-you should be ashamed of yourself…

    • fanofevilempire - Dec 4, 2013 at 11:30 AM

      so Kidd get’s another coach fired. geez
      I hope Kidd doesn’t have to coach a point guard the will have him fired.

    • pbtunpaidwriter - Dec 4, 2013 at 1:43 PM

      Seriously, that’s pathetic. He just needed a scapegoat since he was scared of losing his own job.

      What a brilliant plan: Get rid of the only guy on your staff with meaningful head coach experience then they get blown out in their very next game. Good job man.

  2. GT - Dec 4, 2013 at 11:07 AM

    Gee nobody saw this coming…..

    • fanofevilempire - Dec 4, 2013 at 11:32 AM

      the experts said Nets and Heat in the ECF, I said nursing home recreation hall champs.

      • sportsfan18 - Dec 4, 2013 at 2:21 PM

        Yes, the Nets will win the nursing home recreation championship. They will win in 7 games over the Knicks.

        Game 7 final score will be 34 to 31 Nets (and the game went to 3 overtimes to boot).

  3. bougin89 - Dec 4, 2013 at 11:19 AM

    Wow, this looks like it’s becoming a complete fail. What does Kidd actually bring to the table as coach? He’d be better as Deron Williams backup if nothing else.

  4. MyTeamsAllStink - Dec 4, 2013 at 11:24 AM

    The rivalry in New York is heating up.Which team will get the most ping pong balls?

    • fanofevilempire - Dec 4, 2013 at 11:34 AM

      boo- throws popcorn @ you
      neither has a first round pick.
      you fake basketball fan!

      • MyTeamsAllStink - Dec 4, 2013 at 2:18 PM

        If I was a fake fan I’d be a knick or net fan as they are fake basketball teams at this point.

  5. hdsnake867 - Dec 4, 2013 at 11:49 AM

    Blame for this whole Kidd fiasco goes to the owner and GM of the Nets. These asshats picked a guy to coach a potentially great team and made sure that he was the worst choice possible. Smooth move. Want to make it right? Get rid of the wife beater and hire Lawrence Frank to be the head coach. If this team stays the same all season, Pierce & KG will retire in April and D Williams and Joe Johnson will demand trades. As for Mikhail Prokhorov, just because you’re worth $13 billion, doesn’t mean that you’re smart. It just means you stole more than your fellow countrymen.

  6. jcfinest - Dec 4, 2013 at 11:59 AM

    Frank was a good come up story going from doing the Nets laundry to coaching them. It works in the movies but not in the NBA. Good teams he had played 500 ball and bad teams he had never even showed up to the arena. Terrible hire by the Nets. Kidd better watch out cause he is next. Made no sense with the win now roster that they have that they didn’t get a coach who knew what he was going. Billy King takes 2 steps foward and one step back.

  7. andyreidisfat - Dec 4, 2013 at 12:06 PM

    Didn’t the nets trade this years pick ?? Who too ? And is protected ?

    • bougin89 - Dec 4, 2013 at 12:46 PM

      The Hawks have the right to swap 1st round picks with the Nets. After the potential swap the pick goes to Boston unprotected.

      • 1historian - Dec 4, 2013 at 7:50 PM

        And the celts might wind up with 2 lottery picks in what has been called one of the best draft classes in the last 15 years or so.

        Life is good

      • bougin89 - Dec 5, 2013 at 10:13 AM

        That would be great for the Celtics if it happens. If the season ended today because the East is soo pathetic they wouldn’t have a lottery pick though. Both the Celtics and Hawks would be in the playoffs.

    • fanofevilempire - Dec 4, 2013 at 1:30 PM

      I don’t think Knicks and Nets have a pick for about 4 years.

      • bougin89 - Dec 4, 2013 at 4:01 PM

        Teams cannot trade consecutive 1st round picks. They both have 2015 first round picks.

  8. realfootballfan - Dec 4, 2013 at 12:08 PM

    At least Magic Johnson had a few good wins before it was apparent he was in over his head. Who in the world ever thought this would be a good idea?

    • fanofevilempire - Dec 4, 2013 at 1:32 PM

      they thought Garnett and Pierce was getting younger, when
      crazy glue was holding them together.

      • jcmeyer10 - Dec 4, 2013 at 2:21 PM

        I could see that as a Celtics fan. The fact that we got anything worth something, let alone that haul was amazing. I love PP and KG (going to the game on the 26th) but they were at the end of their string.

  9. beavertonsteve - Dec 4, 2013 at 12:28 PM

    “I understand what it means to be a coach. That’s what I’ve been doing since summer league.”


  10. chargerdillon - Dec 4, 2013 at 12:45 PM

    To be fair….. Jason Kidd jumped into a bad situation. He has a bunch of old veterans who won’t respect a guy who hasn’t paid his dues.

    Do you really think Deron Williams who’s previously been a coach killer for a HALL OF FAME caliber coach is going to buy into a guy who has no experience coaching?

    Do you think KG and Pierce are going to just go with the flow after having been in a system with a very heavy handed coach in Doc Rivers?

    And lets not forget the Kirelenko sweetheart deal that was totally done for one reason in that the owner likes this guy, so he gets a spot on the team.

    There was no GM who was building this team with a coach of the singular mind. They brought in a bunch of old and known stars and paired them with a coach who got hired based on his history as a player and nothing else.

    You can’t blame Kidd for jumping at the opportunity, you have to blame management for handing him the job and the pieces he’s now stuck with that are falling apart.

    As bad as the Nets looks, the Knicks look one hundred times worse. The Nets have excuses, the Knicks have none.

    • fanofevilempire - Dec 4, 2013 at 1:35 PM

      yeah losing your point guard and defensive center is no excuse, I mean that is just 2 of your 5 starters, who can’t over come that, that is nothing.
      you must be a drunkard, stay off the egg nog and don’t drive!

      • chargerdillon - Dec 4, 2013 at 1:45 PM

        The Knicks have had the same system for the last few years. Their backups should understand the rotations both offensively and defensively with a lot of the same players that have been there.

        The Nets have so many new components to their roster on top of a new coach.

        As your name implies “fanofevilempire” it’s obvious you’re a homer in denial. I’m a fan of a 500 ball club and I accept what they are, maybe you should learn to do the same and stop making excuses.

  11. sportsfan18 - Dec 4, 2013 at 2:23 PM

    You know, even if the Nets and the Knicks teams were merged and the best players were kept, the (cough, cough) best coaches were retained, the team would still be in last place in the division.

  12. ravenswhat - Dec 4, 2013 at 3:36 PM

    “I understand what it means to be a coach. That’s what I’ve been doing since summer league.”

    Gold!!!! You can’t make this stuff up!!!!

  13. ezwriter69 - Dec 4, 2013 at 11:52 PM

    Kidd’s been getting coaches fired since he was in Phoenix… did the same in Jersey… ask Byron Scott and Avery Johnson if they’re surprised at this… it’s what Kidd does, blame coaches for his failures, it can’t have been a shock to Frank, he knows Kidd too well.

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