Monday , Jan , 26 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Nets fire Scott

East Rutherford, NJ (Sports Network) – The New Jersey Nets fired head coach
Byron Scott on Monday.

The team announced at an afternoon press conference that Scott will be
replaced by head assistant coach Lawrence Frank immediately. Frank will take
over on an interim basis.

The team’s all-time winningest NBA coach, Scott posted a 149-139 record in
three-plus seasons with the Nets. Scott’s accomplishments with the Nets are
highlighted by two straight trips to the NBA Finals.

The Nets snapped a five-game losing skid on Sunday, but are still a
disappointing 22-20 this season. New Jersey leads the Celtics by two games in
the Atlantic Division, but have just the fifth-best record in the Eastern
Conference.

The last year of Scott’s four-year deal was to pay him between $2.6 million
and $3 million.

Despite leading the team to consecutive NBA Finals appearances, Scott was not
given a contract extension in the offseason. His status was even rockier by
persistent reports that he lacked the support of star guard Jason Kidd, who
berated Scott after an embarrassing 110-63 loss in Memphis on December 13.

Kidd, and forward Kenyon Martin, also criticized Scott’s coaching moves during
last year’s Finals against San Antonio. The duo was unhappy with Scott’s use
of former Net Dikembe Mutombo and the coach’s stubbornness not to double team
Finals MVP Tim Duncan.

However, despite the turmoil, Kidd re-signed with New Jersey in the offseason
for $103 million over six years, although he was also pursued by the Spurs.

Scott’s last game as head coach of the Nets came Sunday, a 110-91 win over
Boston. Scott was ejected in the third quarter.

Frank, who joined Scott’s coaching staff during the 2000-01 season was in the
midst of his fourth year as a New Jersey assistant coach. This is his first
ever head coaching job on any level.

Before landing a assistant job with the Nets, Frank spent three seasons as an
assistant coach for the Vancouver Grizzlies under Brain Hill. His major
responsibilities included scouting upcoming opponents as well as handling
practice and bench coaching duties.

Prior to joining Vancouver, Frank served as an assistant coach at the
University of Tennessee for three seasons under Head Coach Kevin O’Neill.
O’Neill is currently the head coach of the Toronto Raptors. Ironically that
was not the first time that Frank and O’Neill have worked together. Frank
first worked with O’Neill as a staff assistant at Marquette back in 1992.

Frank, a 1992 graduate from Indiana University, gained his basketball
knowledge while serving as a manager for the Hoosier basketball team. A team
that was led by Bob Knight.

The Nets have been in the news lately as the franchise was officially sold to
developer Bruce Ratner on Friday. Ratner plans on moving the Nets across
the Hudson River to Brooklyn. That deal is now waiting approval from the rest
of the NBA owners.

NJ