Lawrence Frank fired: 10 thoughts on the Pistons' decision

Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Lawrence Frank wasn't the problem. Then again, he wasn't part of the solution, either.

Why I think it makes sense:

  • Frank hasn’t done anything to get more out of his players than any other coach would. He gets no wins over replacement value. In terms of wins and losses, he’s John Kuester and Michael Curry.
  • Frank screwed up with Rodney Stuckey and Jonas Jerebko.
  • Frank distributed minutes in ways that didn’t maximize wins. In fact, in the latter half of this season, I didn’t see any difference from Kuester as far as rotations were concerned.
  • Frank made a lot of late game decisions that were questionable at best, and at worst, cost the team a few wins (or at least an opportunity at wins).
  • I think it’s a strong statement to Joe Dumars, even if it doesn’t say anything about Lawrence Frank at all. Gores is sending a message that he’s not content, Gores will shake things up, and he’ll spend money to do it (in this case, paying a coach to go away).
  • It may be just randomness, but I think it’s pretty damning the way Frank’s three teams have started the past three seasons. It’s historically bad, even allowing for schedule.

Why I think it doesn't make sense:

  • Frank isn’t responsible for the roster; Dumars is. No one is going to take this team to the Playoffs with an injured Andre Drummond, a struggling Jerebko and Stuckey, and a Greg Monroe who’s going through the growing pains of becoming a center piece of an NBA offense.
  • It’s possible that this could let Dumars and the players off the hook, making Frank a scapegoat for a problem that is a lot bigger than him, even if it includes him.
  • At some point, this franchise needs to figure out who it wants to be and hire a coach that aligns with the vision. The coaching carousel has gotta stop at some point.

If and when it could make a great deal of sense:

  • If everyone responsible for architecting this roster is also fired, and it becomes a clean sweep, clean house. Firing the GM and the coach is a true fresh start.

At the end of the day, I don't think Frank was the problem, and I don’t have any objections to his firing. Joe Dumars shoulders much more of the blame. But I don’t think he did anything to prove he could be part of the solution moving forward either. He’s nothing more than an average NBA coach, at the very best, and depending on what you value in a coach, he’s worse.

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