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Lawrence Frank gives Tom Gores ultimatum: Fire me or guarantee final year of my contract

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports:

With his brief tenure rapidly reaching a crossroads, Detroit Pistons coach Lawrence Frank informed owner Tom Gores that he shouldn’t be retained for the third year of his contract unless the franchise is willing to guarantee the deal’s fourth-year team option, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

In the week prior to completing his second season as Pistons coach on Wednesday night, Frank delivered this message to Gores and Detroit general manager Joe Dumars in face-to-face and telephone discussions, sources said.

The Pistons are expected to deliver Frank’s fate in a Thursday meeting at the team’s practice facility in Auburn Hills, Mich.

Frank is guaranteed $4 million for the 2013-14 season, and the team controls a $4 million option for the 2014-15 season.

This sounds like the desperate move of a coach who knows he’s about to be fired. I don’t think Gores’ decision will be difficult.

57 Comments

  • Apr 17, 201311:45 pm
    by Reaction

    Reply

    I mean to be honest the more I think about it I feel sorry for him. I know he hasn’t done well here but it isn’t really all his fault. He wasn’t given the tools necessary to succeed. He did put in the effort and hard work to try to shape the team up, but it was to no avail. No one on the Pistons was a clear leader who would be willing to stand up to other teammates and actually lead the team on the floor. 

  • Apr 17, 201311:58 pm
    by ?All?Snub?

    Reply

    OH Frank pulling a Titus Young move, get him outta here.

    • Apr 18, 201310:58 am
      by CNA5

      Reply

      It’s not even remotely the same.  Frank has a point- there’s no way he can coach a completely new team with lame duck status.  If Dumars overturns the roster with 6+ new faces, it’s likely Frank would have to install completely different schemes.  It’s not practical for either side to bring him back for just a year.
       
      Also, Frank has options if the Pistons fired him.  He is very well respected by a number of coaches.  He’d likely be on someone’s bench next season.  He’s really the perfect first chair assistant- tireless worker, great attitude, professional, good x’s and o’s, and can fill in if coach gets ejected or takes a leave of absence.  And, I’m sure he’d listen to the Rutgers opening.
      I think he just wants to know soon so that he can move on with his life.  I don’t think what he asks is at all unreasonable.

  • Apr 18, 201312:03 am
    by Blocks by Dre

    Reply

    Frank’s the best coach of all time…ALL TIME!

  • Apr 18, 201312:05 am
    by gmehl

    Reply

    Gooooooooooooooooooooooone!

  • Apr 18, 201312:10 am
    by jacob

    Reply

    He must want out?

  • Apr 18, 201312:12 am
    by Vince

    Reply

    Wow. Good job asshat. We won’t be seeing your sorry ass on the bench next season. You had a 50% chance of staying and you just blew it.

    Thanks for the past two jokes of a season. 

  • Apr 18, 201312:12 am
    by Trysdor

    Reply

    Honestly, I agree with his reasoning.  Lame duck coach is the last thing this team needs.  I just don’t anticipate the team taking him up on his ultimatum. 

  • Apr 18, 201312:17 am
    by Ozzie-Moto

    Reply

    while i understand and appreciate that if he stayed next year with a weak commitment it not be good for the team or him, I also feel like it a plea to make the end quick and as painless as possible 

  • Apr 18, 201312:19 am
    by PG

    Reply

    It was reported that Phil Jackson wants to go back and coach. I know he won’t come to Detroit but please Gores/Dumars do whatever you can to get him to coach this team. 

    • Apr 18, 201312:21 am
      by jacob

      Reply

      I’d love that but we would have to bring in some studs do something crazy.

      • Apr 18, 201312:30 am
        by Vince

        Reply

        Andre, Moose and Knight might entice him. We’re a young, talented team, we have good role players (Jerebko, Singler) and intriguing prospects (Middleton, Slava). We do have a bunch of dead weight (Stuckey, Villanueva and Maxiell) but with offseason looming I assume some moves will happen.

        Not saying that the Zen Master would come over to Detroit, but it would be nice to have a good, talented coach on the roster to see what they could bring out in this Pistons team.

        • Apr 18, 20133:04 am
          by gmehl

          Reply

          Ha ha how funny would it be seeing this rabble of a team trying to run the triangle offense. Sorry but i think we need a defensive minded coach because while the players might be changing the fans don’t and that is what we have all grow to expect from the pistons. We haven’t had it for over half a decade and we’re all longing to get back to our roots.

      • Apr 18, 201312:33 am
        by Trysdor

        Reply

        We could probably get him if we gave him lots and lots of money and total roster control. 

    • Apr 18, 201312:34 am
      by jerrific

      Reply

      http://espn.go.com/los-angeles/nba/story/_/id/9182468/phil-jackson-itching-return-nbacoach-executive-sources-say 

      Actually he wants to be a GM, he says he’s done coaching. All the talk about him returning as a coach is just speculation. But, if Joe D does get fired, you gotta think the Gores at least considers him as a candidate  I know his past success is no indicator that he’ll be a good GM, but free agents will want to play for a team Phil Jackson manages. Plus, who knows, maybe he would agree to coach if he was put in charge of personnel moves also?

      • Apr 18, 201312:56 am
        by jacob

        Reply

        Thats kinda what i meant because i think the lakers didn’t want him because he wanted it all. Right now we are in a spot where it would be like why not? Let him do what he wants see if it works. It can’t get much worse.

  • Apr 18, 201312:33 am
    by sebastian

    Reply

    L. Frank. let the door knob hit you, where the good Lord split you!

  • Apr 18, 201312:41 am
    by Craig

    Reply

    He never had a full deck to contend with, however there isn’t a coach in the NBA who doesn’t face adversity in one form or another. Frank couldn’t adjust quick enough, alienated his players and couldn’t get the team to buy into defense. 

    I’d say he’s worn out his welcome as an NBA head coach. I’ll be pulling for SVG to take this team on next.  

  • Apr 18, 201312:45 am
    by III

    Reply

    Never liked the hire in the first place, should’ve hired Mike Woodson…or even yet, should’ve never gotten rid of Flip Saunders!!!! Is Phil Jackson even on the Pistons radar?

    • Apr 18, 201310:33 am
      by G

      Reply

      They got rid of Saunders because he lost the locker room. ‘Sheed basically punked him, he had no respect.

  • Apr 18, 201312:46 am
    by RussellC

    Reply

    maybe breaking open the vault and giving Phil Jackson anything he wants, including Joe’s job would convince Iguodala and Josh Smith to sign with Detroit. That would be a pretty good team

  • Apr 18, 20131:13 am
    by TIB

    Reply

    To parafrase a quote from the show “The Game”: “You know, deep down, I don’t think you even want to coach here anymore, do you”

     

  • Apr 18, 20131:32 am
    by Lorenzo

    Reply

    I like Frank as person…. but he is done.  They should go after McMillan hard, he is perfect for this team. They should sound out Sloan just because he is an all time great, of course it is a long shot however.

    • Apr 18, 20131:33 am
      by Lorenzo

      Reply

      andddd forgot to mention…but Phil Jackson will never happen, not even worth mentioning. 

  • Apr 18, 20131:51 am
    by Kerghan

    Reply

    Personally I think I would wait until the Grizzlies get rid of Lionel Hollins and snatch him up.
    He has butted heads with management there since the Rudy trade and there is plenty of talk he will be let go this off season.
    Going by what Memphis have become under his coaching and the fact he has made 2 talented big men work well together I think he would be perfect here for Dre and Moose.
     

  • Apr 18, 20132:04 am
    by frankie d

    Reply

    what a crock.
    he had two seasons to establish some sort of direction and he  utterly failed to do so.
    he was given many of the same tools that other nba coaches are given, and some succeed and some fail.
    he failed.
    despite a supposed turnaround last season.
    despite one of the league’s best rookies this year.
    this fan wasn’t stuck on winning a playoff series this year, all i wanted was a team that was consistently competitive.  a team i could watch and at least feel good about.
    what do i mean?
    go back in pistons’ recent history and look at those carlisle teams.  teams with guys like cliff robinson, and chucky atkins and michael curry starting and still winning 50 games.
    those teams had heart, an identity, a real passion for finishing games and winning and they resurrected  a detroit franchise that had gone cold.
    this year’s team might  be more talented than carlisle’s teams.  
    don’t let the door hit you on the way out…. 

    • Apr 18, 20132:18 am
      by Mark

      Reply

      In 2 seasons with Kuester we won .348% of our games

      In 2 seasons with Frank we won .364% of our games

      We could’ve just kept Kooster and gotten the same results.
       

  • Apr 18, 20132:11 am
    by Mark

    Reply

    Phil
    Sloan
    SVG
    JVG
    Hollins

    If we come away with any one of these coach’s I’ll be happy.

    I really think Dumars needs to be replaced too. I don’t have confidence in his ability to get big FAs to come here. We could form a dynasty right now if we can somehow get CP3. Having a GM in place who can get him here is crucial. Otherwise Joe is just going to fill out the roster with avg role players and we MIGHT win 1 championship again one day.

    The Dumars Model is only good for 1 championship if it works to perfection. We’ve got the pieces up front to potentially build a dynasty if we can get a superstar on the perimeter. I want a GM thats thinking like that. Not one who wants to build another team of also-rans who if they give 200% effort every game might be good enough to win a championship one day. I’m tired of this franchise taking that mindset.

  • Apr 18, 20132:36 am
    by Otis

    Reply

    There wasn’t enough talent here for him to win games, which– five years into a self-imposed rebuild– is the reason Dumars should be fired. But it’s not like this guy was the “answer” or did anything with what he had. Being marginally better than Michael Curry and John Kuester is meaningless. My main gripe with him, as with the previous coaches, was his interviewing technique. The guy really got on my nerves with the particular excuses he made. I’ll take a straight shooter any day.

  • Apr 18, 20134:24 am
    by Kris

    Reply

    I think Dumars reputation with coaches would negatively impact the chances to get good one. New management team, with clear vision, two potential young stars on the roster and cap space would be enticing for coaches like SVG. I don’t think Jackson or Sloan are coming back and certainly not to Detroit. I would love to have Rick Adelman though, but heard he’s contemplating retirement for family reasons. Having said that, I guess Nate McMillan or Brian Shaw are realistic, with or without Dumars. I guess both would fit just fine.

  • Apr 18, 20135:47 am
    by Gareth Masters

    Reply

    Phil Jackson – GM
    Brian Shaw – Head Coach

    (Dreaming haha)

  • Apr 18, 20137:06 am
    by omar

    Reply

    How many coaches are still on our books?

  • Apr 18, 20138:15 am
    by I HATE FRANK

    Reply

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aigtj2AGASg - When Frank is fired

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Y72Igrxz4E - Frank talking to his coaching staff

  • Apr 18, 20138:28 am
    by G

    Reply

    That makes it easier. Frank must be looking at that Rutgers job.

    • Apr 18, 201310:17 am
      by Huddy

      Reply

      That job is pretty much filled, Eddie Jordan from the Lakers had a final meeting about taking the position.

  • Apr 18, 20138:31 am
    by Clint in Flint

    Reply

    May the Basketball Gods smile down on us and send him on his merry way giving us Laimbeer as his replacement.

  • Apr 18, 20139:07 am
    by Enzopaschi

    Reply

    We need more experienced head coach. I don’t like Frank since the day he signed with us. Stan Van Gundy can be good for us. 

  • Apr 18, 20139:26 am
    by mixmasta

    Reply

    Frank took the job knowing what the roster looks like. He could have declined but he didn’t. So, he knew what tools are available. The thing he failed to do is to maximize those tools. Watching or hearing Frank’s locker room pre or post game speeches are just so boring and quick. Who would be motivated playing a great game with that disconnect?
     
    Next please.

  • Apr 18, 201310:04 am
    by Hotep

    Reply

    Laimbeer.

    • Apr 18, 201310:19 am
      by butterscotch

      Reply

      Laimbeer could make this thing work.  He would teach Drummond and Gregg some toughness. He wouldn’t put up with Stuckey’s BS and would put some fans in the seats.

    • Apr 18, 201310:24 am
      by DasMark

      Reply

      Laimbeer already has a job, in the WNBA, which he’s in the midst of. 

  • Apr 18, 201310:23 am
    by DasMark

    Reply

    You might be a Pistons homer if….

    ….you think Phil Jackson wants to coach in Detroit.

    ….you think Chris Paul or Dwight Howard will be interested in coming to Detroit.

    ….you think giving Josh Smith a max contract solves Detroit’s problems.

    Get real people.  

    • Apr 18, 201310:31 am
      by G

      Reply

      I think most of the Phil Jackson talk is based on the assumption that he’d be taking Joe D’s job as well as Frank’s. It’s still a stretch, but it’s conceivable that he’d come here for that kind of package. I think it’s more likely he’s interested in GM-only, not coaching.

      Nobody thinks Paul or Howard will come here. Most people don’t even want Josh Smith, so… do you have any other straw-man arguments you want to throw out there? 

      • Apr 18, 201312:48 pm
        by jerrific

        Reply

        Exactly. While it’s a long shot, he might be willing to come here for a gm position. 

  • Apr 18, 201310:28 am
    by MIKEYDE248

    Reply

    Frank didn’t improve anything on the team over the past two years.  The team won about the same amount of games as the previous couple of coaches.  The roster was about the same over the past couple of years, talent wise, since the Billups trade, so he can’t use that as an excuse.

    I think the only players that have improved under Frank did so inspite of him rather than because of him.  Monroe has been about the only player that show continual improvement, but he was doing that before Frank.  Everyone else seemed to stay at their current level of play or regress over that past two years.

    Drummond has improved, but if he were starting or playing more minute, who knows how good he might be now.  Jonas looks to be back to where he was his rookie year, but he sat on the bench for half a year too.  Maybe his play has improved because of that or maybe he could have been playing like this all year, if he only played.

    Our rookie class is hard to tell, since they only just recently started getting minutes and that’s mostly due to blow out losses and injuries.

    Way too many minutes for Max, CV & Prince.

  • Apr 18, 201310:29 am
    by Vic

    Reply

    Laimbeer or SVG

  • Apr 18, 201310:48 am
    by Corey

    Reply

    Another vote for SVG, although I’m starting to be intrigued by the Laimbeer idea. Hollins might be good as well.

    Smart move by Frank to lay down the ultimatum, actually.  Worst case for him was that they keep him as a lame duck next year, with everyone knowing he’d be fired after the season, or more likely during it. That would be a nightmare for him, and would only make sense if Gores is cheap and wants to save money on the coach next year. 

    This way, he either gets another guaranteed year, and has some authority next year, or he’s given a free pass to go home to his wife with $4m in his pocket next year. 

    And people say he’s a bad tactician…

    Corey

  • Apr 18, 201310:54 am
    by The Rake

    Reply

    This is why I clamored for his head at the end of last year. The guy has not proven he can coach NBA talent. A flash in the pan with NJ. What a dipshit.

  • Apr 18, 201311:27 am
    by Juan

    Reply

    Franks and honestly, Joe D needs to bounce. Gores should of fire Joe when he first bought the team. Bad moves since the Billup iverson trade. Draft record been so so. He hold on to playets to long without getting real value in return. Sheed should of been traded before Billups. Hell, Hamilton and prince was too late. Get a proven coach. Avery Johnson, Bill Laimbeer or one of the Van Gundy bro. 

  • Apr 18, 201312:51 pm
    by Brandon Knight

    Reply

    Caves fired Scott, so we better hurry up!

    • Apr 18, 201312:52 pm
      by Brandon Knight

      Reply

      Cavs*

      • Apr 18, 201312:59 pm
        by G

        Reply

        God no. Byron Scott is awful.

        • Apr 18, 20131:15 pm
          by Brandon Knight

          Reply

          Lol no! I meant we should hurry to hire the coach we want to hire before the Cavs signs him!

        • Apr 18, 20131:16 pm
          by Huddy

          Reply

          He literally just left a very similar rebuilding situation in Cleavland and failed to grow the team…why would he be a good choice here?  He might be a good coach, but obviously not a good rebuilding coach.

  • Apr 18, 20131:27 pm
    by Bruce

    Reply

    I’m not advocating either way keep or fire him but I do feel that half of his seaon was wasted on playing guys so that management could position themselves to dump salaries. He was forced to play Daye and Charlie so that we could showcase them in trades. He ran offense through Tay to get his numbers up. Clearly this team played harder after the trade. He has proven that Dumars didn’t make bad moves by drafting Kim, Khris and signing Slava. At the beginning of the season nobody knew what these guys could potential bring as young players. I give Frank credit for putting these young guys in position to work hard this off season and being contributors off the bench next year. Like it or not I think e handled Andre extremely well. 

     

  • Apr 18, 20131:55 pm
    by pdac

    Reply

    I say we go with long-time Spurs assistant, Mike Budenholzer. He has been Pop’s head assistant for a while now. Here’s his resume. http://www.nba.com/coachfile/mike_budenholzer/index.html?nav=page

  • Apr 18, 20135:08 pm
    by Heep

    Reply

    The question the organization is probably trying to answer is: do we want to win next year?  They certainly don’t want to become a losing organization like the Bobcats, but missing out on 2003 style superstar filled draft will doom them for a long time.  Very tough choices to make

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