After a month of speculation, New Jersey Nets head coach Laurence Frank will be sticking around through the rest of his contract, which is set to expire after the end of next season.
Missing the playoffs and winning just 34-games for the second consecutive season, the Nets brass still have faith in Frank’s ability as a coach.
“If you get rid of a good coach, you have to get a good coach,” Thorn told the Associated Press. “In my mind he is a good coach, he has done a good job here. I think this past year most people didn’t think we would do well and we did better than expected. Our younger players got better for the most part and my feeling is we are on the right road.”
While Thorn has a point that Frank exceeded expectations with a team that many predicted to be around the 25-win mark, the team played horribly during the second half, winning only four games in March and failing to capitalize on the momentum they had during the first 35 or so games of the season.
Nonetheless, the Nets have a plethora of youngsters on the team that will get better in time and if Frank can find a way to get them the playing time they need, while not being forced to play veterans that can’t get the job done, this team may be in much better shape than the rest of the league thinks.
Knowing this, Frank must find a way to stay firm and put his best lineup on the court every night. Perhaps he’s learned his lesson from keeping Jason Collins in the Nets rotation for so long over the years, especially when the team had other players that could pick up the slack in his place. However, even if the Yi Jianlian situation that started at the end of this season begins again with another player, Frank owes it to the organization to let his youngsters develop and earn their bumps and bruises.
Nothing against Collins, but he never had the potential of guys like Chris Douglas-Roberts, Ryan Anderson, Brook Lopez and Devin Harris. Those guys need every opportunity to prove they belong and can thrive in this league. Playing guys like Eduardo Najera and Bobby Simmons in crucial game situations won;t help the Nets next season and won’t help them in the future as well.
As well, the Nets have to address their needs via free agency and the draft this summer, or else, regardless of what Frank does, this team will revel in mediocrity once again.
That’s something Frank can’t be responsible for, but will have to make the most of.