Home > Toronto Raptors > The Next Head Coach of the Raptors…Part 1

The Next Head Coach of the Raptors…Part 1

According to Mr. Smith the candidates for the head coaching position have been narrowed to two:

Boston assistant coach Lawrence Frank and Mavs assistant Dwane Casey.

Today, let’s look at Lawrence Frank.

Frank started his career as a student manager at Indiana University working for Bobby Knight. After his graduation, Frank became an assistant for everyone’s favourite maniacal former Raptors head coach and defensive guru (yet offensive putz) Kevin O’Neill at Marquette and Tennessee. From there Frank joined the staff of the Vancouver Grizzlies before finally joining the Nets in 2000.

It would be in 2004, after the Nets had gone to the NBA finals in two consecutive years under the leadership of one of the most underrated coaches in the league in Byron Scott, that Frank would finally get his chance. The veteran-heavy Nets had simply tuned Scott out (like most teams do to their coach at some point), and sensing a change was needed, then President and GM Rod Thorn made the decision to promote Frank. The decision paid off as the Nets went on a 13-game winning streak to start Frank’s career. After that, Frank would lead the Nets to 4 straight playoff appearances (including a series victory against the Raptors – click if you want the rest of your day to be ruined), but never got past the 2nd round.

Jason Kidd was traded in 2008, then Vince Carter and Richard Jefferson would soon follow. Two seasons had passed and the Nets had finished with identical records of 34-48. What was left was a roster so flawed that Frank and the Nets would open the 2009-2010 season on a 16-game losing streak. Frank was fired and the Nets would only win 12 games that season.

Frank’s career arc is similar of that to many coaches. A successful start with a bit of playoff success followed by a pink slip because of a roster dismantling and rebuild. Frank deserves another shot, and the Raptors probably need a new voice.

Rod Thorn called Frank “a good X’s and O’s guy”, and that he “understands players”. He’s considered a very good player development coach, but struggled to translate that into team success (which is a hard thing to do in the NBA). And at least we know he’ll be entertaining after every Raptors loss because Frank certainly doesn’t mind mincing words, but what the fuck you gonna do about it?

 

Frank is certainly more experienced because of his time with the Nets, but I’m not convinced his story will play out any differently than Triano’s. His personality, demeanour, and approach to the game are admirable but seem better suited to a veteran team. But, if Frank can instill a defensive culture and bring some real accountability to the Raptors then go ahead and hire him. If it doesn’t work out he’ll be out the door along with Bryan Colangelo in two years time.

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