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.
"We appreciate all of the work, effort, sacrifice and success that Byron has produced over the past three and a half seasons," said Nets President Rod Thorn. "I felt that at this time it is necessary to take the team in a different direction, and I am confident Lawrence will be an outstanding leader for our team, "
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