Q: How does your interaction with Lawrence Frank go as far as who he plays and certain player groupings? Everyone wants to see Drummond and Monroe play together, how does your interaction with him work as far as the direction you’re going?
A: I’ve never wavered from this. You allow the coach to make his coach’s decisions. We talk and he’ll ask me, ‘What do you think? What do you see?’ But at the end of the day, you have to allow the coach to make his decisions, it has to be his decisions. And then you support his decisions. You support whatever it is he’s trying to get done. But we talk every day, we talk about the roster, we talk about who’s playing well, we talk about who’s struggling. We converse about it every single day. But at the end of the day, the coach has to have the autonomy to play who he sees fit and deal with the roster as he sees fit. You have to give the coach that latitude and that respect and that autonomy.
In the short term, it can be healthy for a general manager to avoid micromanaging the head coach. But, ultimately, if Dumars doesn’t like how Frank sets the rotation, he’ll fire him. We’ve seen that process play multiple times already.
If Dumars approves of what Frank is doing, that’s one thing. If Dumars wants Frank to assign minutes differently – like, perhaps, playing Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond together – Dumars should communicate that. I think allowing the coach latitude is a noble idea in theory, but it shouldn’t be done in spite of what Dumars sees as best for the franchise.
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