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Brooklyn Nets in Full Damage Control Mode With Coaching Staff Shuffle

Yahoo Contributor Network

COMMENTARY | The buzz out of Brooklyn this week was a shuffle in the coaching staff that ultimately leaves top assistant Lawrence Frank off the bench, reduced to doing daily reports.

The New York Daily News reported that Frank was reassigned on Tuesday.

That seems like pretty mundane work for a veteran NBA coach who is the highest-paid assistant in the NBA this season at $1 million per year on a six-year deal.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, the relationship began to sour after a meeting with head coach Jason Kidd and his staff after the Nets were blown out by the Orlando Magic in Kidd's first game on the bench after his two-game suspension for his DUI arrest.

Kidd and Frank didn't appear to always be on the same page when Kidd played for Frank in New Jersey, and Frank's selection to be Kidd's mentor-slash-right-hand-man seemed a strange one.

And as many things have in Brooklyn's 5-13 start, the relationship went sideways, fast.

Kidd had a reputation as a player, fair or not, of being a coach killer. There were some chuckles when he so rapidly became a member of the NBA's head-coaching fraternity after retiring as a player, wondering when one of his star players was going to turn on him the way he had turned on Jim Cleamons in Dallas, Byron Scott in New Jersey, Avery Johnson in Dallas and, going into the way-back machine, Lou Campanelli at the University of California.

One thing is certain: Mikhail Prokhorov isn't paying $190 million for this.

The Nets are in 13th place in the moribund Eastern Conference, the conference where exactly two teams have winning records.

That actually bodes well for the Nets; if they ever can get their stuff together, they are only 2.5 games behind the eighth-place Charlotte Bobcats and miraculously only trail Atlantic Division-leading Boston by two games for the fourth seed in the East.

The Atlantic Division is going to come down to this: Whichever team gets hot (and by "hot," I merely mean "able to get near or at .500") will likely run away with the division.

For as bad as the first month and change of this season has gone, Brooklyn can certainly turn things around.

But it appears that the blame game has begun in Brooklyn and Lawrence Frank might just be the first to get his chair yanked out from underneath him.

Phil Watson is a freelance commentator and journalist who covers the Brooklyn Nets, New York Giants and New York Yankees on the Yahoo Contributor Network. He is also editor of Golden Gate Sports and holds an editorial position at HoopsHabit.com.

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