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Lawrence Frank a candidate to replace Mike Rice at Rutgers?

Rutgers fired Mike Rice after disturbing video leaked of him berating and attacking his players, and Lawrence Frank has been mentioned as a possible replacement. Adrian Wojnarowski and Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports:

Another strong candidate for the Rutgers job could be Detroit Pistons coach Lawrence Frank, sources told Yahoo! Sports. Pernetti expressed interest with Frank before the hiring of Rice four years ago, but he decided to stay on the NBA track. Frank had significant success as the coach of the New Jersey Nets for six-plus seasons, reaching the Eastern Conference semifinals three times. He also has a collegiate background as an assistant with Marquette and Tennessee.

What’s more, Frank could be open to the return to New Jersey, where his wife, Susan, has been ill. He left the Pistons for six games to be with her and his two children during the season.

Frank, via Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press:

"I’m the coach of the Pistons," Frank said before they faced the Celtics on Wednesday night. "I haven’t heard from anyone.

"Like I told you, I’m very happy as the coach of the Pistons. I haven’t been contacted by anyone, and there’s nothing more to say."

The possibly irrelevant: Frank might be stretching the truth when he says he wasn’t contacted. In these situations, schools typically contact the agent, so the coach has plausible deniability.

The ideally irrelevant: Rutgers athletic director Tim Pernetti’s previous interest in Frank shouldn’t matter, because Pernetti shouldn’t be hiring Rutgers’ next coach. Like Rice, Pernetti should be fired. Pernetti’s comments after the video became public – “My biggest concern as the AD is that I am always trying to protect the interests and reputation of the university” – were disgusting. A man with those priorities should not be charged with the welfare of Rutgers’ athletes. The university is nothing without the people who comprise it, and Pernetti’s focus should be on them, not some corporate-type entity.

The possibly relevant: Frank has shown a desire to spend time in New Jersey to be with his wife, and Rutgers is in New Jersey. Frank hasn’t made details of his wife’s illness public, so it’s unknown how important spending time in that area is to him at this point.

The ideally relevant: Frank is probably closer to end of his Pistons tenure than the start. This could be a convenient way for Frank and the Pistons to part on amicable terms. Frank would get a soft landing, and the Pistons would, in theory, save money on the final year of Frank’s contract.


  • Apr 4, 20131:07 pm
    by G


    I’m not a fan of firing Frank, I just want him not to be here anymore

    • Apr 4, 20131:11 pm
      by Clint in Flint


      I’ll be happy to contribute to help pay for his plane ticket! 

    • Apr 5, 201310:31 am
      by MNM


      I wish 90% of the players weren’t here anymore.

      • Apr 5, 201312:09 pm
        by jamesjones_det


        10% like on the roster sounds about right.  I like 1 1/2 players on this team (if Moose played some real D I would give him the other 1/2).  that’s 1.5 / 14 ~10.7%.  Throw in Frank and you drop to 10% exactly.

  • Apr 4, 20132:03 pm
    by Blocks by Dre


    this is a great opportunity for us and Frank…take the job and run Frank!

  • Apr 4, 20132:59 pm
    by Reaction


    I think the Pistons need a coach who is in a way both feared and respected by the players. I would personally love for them to give Laimbeer a chance ( I know this has been a highly debated topic) because he is both Pistons Royalty and has been successful as both a player and a coach. He is known for his toughness and I think that would rub off well with the players. I don’t think that the Pistons will be able to attract any really accomplished coachs like Van Gundy or Sloan since I doubt they would want to deal with the management we have here and the players.

    • Apr 4, 20133:06 pm
      by Reaction


      Granted he was only a head coach in the wnba

  • Apr 4, 20133:36 pm
    by TIB


    The thing i find interesting is that if Frank leaves, what does that mean for Dumars? We all know that Frank was more of a Gores hire than Dumars and id Frank leaves could that hasten the decision on Dumars’ future since the owner would not want the GM to pick the next head coach if there is a chance that the GM could be fired the next year… Also if Gores does pick the next coach, and still lets Dumars go in a year, does it make it that much harder to find a GM who is more than just a puppet

  • Apr 4, 20134:17 pm
    by sebastian


    Pistons fans should all send written letters of recommendation to Rutgers University’s Athletic Director supporting L. Frank’s hopeful hiring as the next Head Coach of Rutgers men’s basketball team.

  • Apr 4, 20134:21 pm
    by Big Rick


    good point. My queston is who would we bring in if we let Frank go?

    These are some of my picks in no particular order.
    Nate McMillan

    Brian Shaw

    Sam Mitchell

    Bill Lambeer

    Avery Johnson

    Terry Porter

    Van Gundy (either one)

    It would nice if we brought in a coach that the players would respect based on their playing or coaching resume instead of trying to get an assistant on the cheap. We need a coach who inspires and demands us to play defense and could bring the best out of our players.

    • Apr 4, 20135:05 pm
      by G


      I like McMillian, Shaw, Laimbeer and Van Gundy, not so much Porter, Johnson or Mitchell. Porter did a poor job with a talented Suns team, I keep hearing stuff about Mitchell in his stint with the Raptors that make me think he’s a bad coach (you can hang some of Kobe’s 81 on Mitchell’s coaching), and Johnson… he just pisses me off. Can you picture the press conferences?

      • Apr 4, 20135:34 pm
        by RussellC


        McMillan, McMillan or McMillan. The next choice believe it or not Isiah Thomas. Dumars might as well take a chance or go out with a bang.

        • Apr 4, 20136:46 pm
          by oats


          McMillan has his problems developing young guys. That’s kind of why he was fired actually. If we had a team that was looking to make the jump from good to contender, sign me up for McMillan. That’s not really the situation we are in though, so I’m far from convinced he’s the guy for the team as it is constructed.
          I still think I’d like to add Brad Stevens from Butler to the candidates. I know college coaches don’t always translate, but by all accounts that guy is just really smart and he has been great at Butler. He also is leading the charge on using advanced stats in college. I know he already turned down other jobs, but he might be willing to make the jump to the NBA.

        • Apr 5, 20138:23 am
          by G


          Isiah Thomas couldn’t cut it at FIU. He’s never been a good coach. I prefer L. Frank 100 times over Isiah.

          I actually like Jerry Sloan better than McMillian, but I’m not sure if Sloan wants to come back to coaching. I’m leery about bringing in a college guy. It’s not that college coaches “don’t always translate”, they practically NEVER do. The game is just too different. Examples – Rick Pitino, Tim Floyd, Calipari, Tarkanian…

          • Apr 6, 20134:17 am
            by oats

            Ok, I undersold the don’t always translate thing, because you are right that they rarely do. Stevens isn’t my favorite candidate, it just seems like if we’re doing a list with guys like Sam Mitchell (Mitchell is a pretty blah candidate. I’m not convinced he’s a better coach than Frank even. Actually, throw in Porter and Johnson as roughly equivalents to Frank in my book), then Stevens should make it too. He seems like a really smart guy and might be able to overcome what admittedly seems like long odds. If I was picking a coach to make that transition successfully, I would want it to be one that that embraces advanced stats. Hopefully that would help him figure out what it is that works in college but won’t work in the pros. The team should at least kick the tires on him if Frank leaves.
            I have a hard time seeing Sloan in Detroit. He’d be my choice if I could get him though.
            By the way, I should have read the entire comment I was responding too. I seem to have glossed over the Thomas thing. I hate that idea. I think Thomas is a terrible coach.

          • Apr 6, 20134:50 am
            by oats

            responding to*
            I know that isn’t my only typo, but it was the most annoying one for me.

  • Apr 4, 20136:17 pm
    by Vic


    Laimbeer or Van Gundy from Orlando.

    Laimbeer is obvious, legend in Pistons history, clear leader, and proven winning coach.

    I also like what Van Gundy did in Orlando with Dwight + average. Imagine what he could do with Drummind/ Monroe/ Porter or Burke or Mclemore  

    Somebody needs to change their screen name to RUTGERS NEEDS YOU 

  • Apr 4, 20139:24 pm


    Wouldnt mind seeing frank gone if we can get a Van Gundy or two

  • Apr 4, 201311:06 pm
    by Pete


    Take the job Frank!!!!

  • Apr 5, 20137:17 am
    by Venice


    Man I hope Joe D still has enough magic so that we can get a top 5 draft pic next year. Im ok in packaging   Knight and his years first round pick. This year has lesser talent than next year. There are plenty of potential Franchise player. If we can get a top 5 pick next year, Im ok in having another losing year next season.

  • Apr 5, 20138:22 am
    by Mark


    Coach Frank just go. Please take Dumars with you..

  • Apr 5, 20139:27 am


    Being completely serious…..With his wife health, it makes sense

  • Apr 5, 20139:27 am
    by Robb


    Agree with most of the posts and will add one more comment…

    **STOP** Trying to win more games this year, we don’t want to slip from 5th to 6th in draft… 

  • Apr 5, 201312:06 pm
    by jamesjones_det


    Please take him!  I’ll give you $5 if you do!

  • Apr 5, 20131:18 pm
    by anthony



    Seems Byron Scott is on his way out too. What about Byron Scott? Seems to be a decent coach, and he definitely isn’t afraid to play the young fellas. 

    • Apr 5, 20133:05 pm
      by G


      Byron Scott is like the other side of the coin from Lawrence Frank. The things Frank is good at, Scott isn’t, and the things Scott is good at, Frank isn’t. Taken as a whole, I’ve never gotten the impression he was a good coach.

      Scroll down to the section titled Dow Report. The 12th one down makes fun of the Isiah Thomas-Byron Scott coaching match-up in the playoffs, and I don’t think Scott has improved much since then, if at all. 

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