It seems that everyone knew Jason Kidd and Lawrence Frank weren't going to make it. Jay Williams, Byron Scott and more than a few anonymous sources. Well, almost everyone. Jeff Van Gundy was surprised.
Jay Williams, the former two-time College Basketball Player of the Year, former Chicago Bulls guard and one-time invitee to New Jersey Nets training camp, told Jason Mcintyre of The Big Lead that Jason Kidd and Lawrence Frank had "always had friction," dating back to their days when their relationship was as a player and coach.
"I’m speaking totally upon speculation here, but when I played training camp there, and I worked out with J-Kidd for a good five or six months, there was always a little bit of friction between [Kidd and Frank]. Not in the regards of, ‘hey, we hate each other,’ but more so in their styles; their approach to the game. When you arrived in training camp, Lawrence Frank handed you a book that was about 10 inches thick that was the playbook. I literally felt like an NFL Quarterback with all the plays I had to memorize, and I had a very difficult time doing so. And then while we would be in practice, when Lawrence Frank would call out different plays, J-Kidd would end up running the plays that he felt fit the team, and Lawrence wouldn’t really say anything to him. Now, Jay’s obviously a perennial All-Star, and you can see that, right? So, the fact that [Kidd] had to re-assign Lawrence Frank didn’t surprise me at all because he is going to do the things he wants to do his way."
Williams was with the Nets in 2006, when he was given a non-guaranteed contract, before being cut prior to the start of the season.
Byron Scott had a front row seat in the early 2000's -- and was dumped as a result of a rebellion by Kidd and Frank. He spoke to Fred Kerber.
"In Jason and Lawrence, I detect two very strong-willed people who don’t back down," Scott said. "I could easily see maybe Jason getting to the point where he felt Lawrence was over-stepping his bounds...
"It does surprise me a little that it happened so quickly. But it’s safe to say that I’m not [surprised] it happened at all because of the personalities involved."
Kerber and Tim Bontemps talked to some other sources as well, people who didn't want to be quoted.
One encapsulated the differences between the two in a telling vignette. After Kidd’s very public courtship of Frank, when the former head coach called to accept the job, he began laying out plans for the team. Frank suggested film sessions immediately.
"I think Jason was like, ‘Whoa, slow down,’ " the source said. "He had other things to do on summer weekends."
Van Gundy thought the dispute is a personal loss for the two men. "Not only did they share a great bond as a player and coach, I think they were truly great friends. And to let a professional thing come between friendships, I think it really is too bad."
- The Jason McIntyre Show: Jay Williams on Training Camp with Jason Kidd and Lawrence Frank. Also, College Basketball - The Big Lead
- Jason Kidd & Lawrence Frank Always Had Friction Between Them - Spencer Lund - Dime Magazine
- Kidd-Frank breakup no surprise to Byron Scott - Fred Kerber - New York Post
- Kidd-Frank combo doomed from the start: source - Tim Bontemps & Fred Kerber - New York Post
- Pick a side in the Jason Kidd-Lawrence Frank saga, and you'd probably pick wrong - Dave D'Alessandro - Star-Ledger
- JVG surprised by Kidd-Frank divorce - Ohm Youngmisuk - ESPN New York
- Nets coach Jason Kidd shows no pity for demoted Lawrence Frank - Andy Vasquez - The Record
- Jason Kidd ice cold on Nets assistant Lawrence Frank's demotion - Mitch Abramson - New York Daily News