Pistons poised to hire Frank as coach
Lawrence Frank has emerged as the choice to become the Detroit Pistons’ next head coach and a formal contract offer is expected within the next day, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.
Frank, an assistant with the Boston Celtics, separated his candidacy in his first meetings with management and ownership, distancing himself from contenders Mike Woodson and Kelvin Sampson, sources said.
The Pistons organization has been deliberate in the process, talking to several candidates. But barring unforeseen snags in contract talks, Frank figures to replace John Kuester, who was fired as coach on June 5.
Frank has benefited from the recommendations of Philadelphia 76ers president Rod Thorn – his old boss with the New Jersey Nets – and Celtics coach Doc Rivers. Pistons general manager Joe Dumars holds both Thorn and Rivers in high regard.
In anticipation of an offer, Frank has been working on assembling a staff over the past two weeks, league coaching sources said. Celtics assistant Roy Rogers, who was on Frank’s staff with the Nets, is the most likely to join him in Detroit.
Frank has thought that spending the past season under Rivers helped him greatly to further cultivate the dynamics of head coach-player relationships. This promises to be an important part of the Pistons’ coaching job, especially after the breakdowns between Kuester and several players.
Frank had a successful run over six-plus seasons as the Nets’ coach until owner Bruce Ratner’s cost-cutting moves gutted the roster. Frank won two Atlantic Division titles and reached the playoffs in four seasons, including the Eastern Conference semifinals three times. He holds the NBA record for the best coaching start in history, winning his first 13 games after taking over for Byron Scott in the 2003-04 season.
The Pistons also interviewed Woodson, Sampson, Bill Laimbeer and Patrick Ewing.
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