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Is Lawrence Frank the highest paid assistant coach in NBA history?


Ian O'Connor reports that Lawrence Frank is the highest paid assistant coach in the NBA and one source tells him the former head coach of the Nets and Pistons may the highest paid assistant ever. Last week, Alan Hahn reported on ESPN Radio that he had also been told Frank tops the assistant coach ranks.

Jason Kidd's lead assistant was given a four-year deal worth more than $1 million a season -- a deal that makes him the highest-paid assistant in the NBA -- a league source told ESPN New York. A second league source told O'Connor that Frank's deal "could be the biggest in league history for an assistant." Kidd makes $2.5 million a year, Peter Vecsey has reported.

Mike Malone, new head coach of Sacramento, was the league's top-paid assistant last season while making $750,000 with Golden State, also in support of a rookie coach, Mark Jackson.

Frank is also receiving as much as $2 million in each of the next two years as part of his buyout from Detroit. The Detroit Free Press reported Thursday that Frank's Nets salary will be deducted from what the Pistons owe him.

League sources say Kidd and Frank marketed themselves to the Nets as a unit after Kidd retired and Frank was fired. The two were close when Frank was head coach and Kidd was captain of the Nets between 2003 and 2007.

Tyshawn Taylor described Frank's role at Wednesday's summer league practice this way: ""Coach Frank did a lot of the organization and setting us up and running a lot of drills and stuff. . . . (Kidd) kind of just was sitting back and watching and throwing in his points in there when he could, like a point guard would."

The decision to pay Frank is yet another example of how Mikhail Prokhorov has shown he is ready to spend whatever it takes to produce a winner in Brooklyn. Between team salaries and luxury taxes, the Nets will pay out more than $180 million this season, easily an NBA record.