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Was Frank undercutting Kidd or is it all a big "smear?"

Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

With Lawrence Frank demoted, at least, reporters are suggesting that the "differences in philosphy" included whether Jason Kidd felt his assistant and longtime friend was undercutting him.

Ohm Youngmisuk --as well have others-- alluded to reports that Kidd felt he was being undercut by Frank, saying "the absolute last thing he needs to worry about is whether a Game of Thrones is happening on his bench." Youngmisuk did not address specifics but other reporters did.

Tim Bontemps, in a story with additional reporting by Fred Kerber provided additional details...

A league source said Frank was assigning tasks to fellow assistants — traditionally a responsibility of the head coach — and it didn’t sit well with other members of Kidd’s staff.

Another source said the relationship between the two had gotten to the point where Kidd felt he was being undermined by Frank with players and assistant coaches on the staff.

Filip Bondy noted the same thing in his report Wednesday.

Although Frank and Kidd never warred in public, league sources reported chafing recently between the two. Kidd may have heard secondhand stories about the assistant complaining behind his back

Multiple reports indicate the "warring" began early in their co-tenure, with Frank upset that Kidd chose Joe Prunty to run the team during his DUI suspension. Then days later, there was a heated argument following the blowout in Orlando, the first in a series of brutal losses to young, athletic teams. Reportedly, it was about team defense, about how to best defend the pick-and-roll.

Adrian Wojnarowski called the anonymous reports a "smear campaign" ... then deleted the tweet.

No matter. As Youngmisuk notes, it's all on Kidd now.

"The Nets' rookie head coach has decided he is going to do things his way. It's all on Kidd now, and the organization clearly supported his move, especially given how much money Frank makes," writes Youngmisuk, referring to the $7 million contract that the Nets will now have to eat, assuming that his "daily reports" assignment is a first step on the road to a final divorce.

Later Wednesday, Bontemps reported Frank has retained "high-powered legal counsel" to negotiate a buyout package.

The Nets don't plan on replacing Frank perhaps because they're still paying Frank -- and may have to buy him out at some point.  Kidd also made it clear that he doesn't need much help. "I've been doing it since day one," he said of the head coaching. "We'll be coaches. That's the way it'll be. No one doing offense, no one doing defense. We'll take the responsibility of being coaches. That will be the way it's set up."