Over a week after it happened, Billy King finally put a comment on the record that gave a little more insight into the Lawrence Frank reassignment.
"Knowing the inside, we did what we had to do."
What they had to do. Not what they thought was right, not what they wanted to do. Simply: cutting ties with Frank was what this organization had to do.
It makes sense. Jason Kidd is not just the head coach, he's a symbol of Nets greatness. He's a link to back-to-back NBA Final appearances (the only in franchise history), his number is hanging from the rafters, and his throwback t-shirt is in practically every Barclays Center merchandise stand. Oh, and did I mention he's a minority owner of the team? But more than any of that, the Nets bet big on Kidd in the summer, and it's too late to take their chips off the table and go home. This was them doubling down on that bet.
From a public relations perspective, the Nets rolled the dice in a major way when they brought in Kidd as this team's head coach. Someone with no coaching experience expected to lead a team with sky-high expectations? That's dicey, and we saw just how much so the first month of this season. The injuries didn't help, the media scrutiny was even worse, and it put Kidd and the Nets were on their heels. A tumultuous situation with a coach on his staff was the last thing Kidd needed, and the last bit of drama the Nets wanted to deal with. But admitting defeat simply was not an option.
When issues bubbled underneath, and suddenly sprung to the surface, there was no other choice than to get Frank out of town (despite a six year commitment to him) because the Nets have left themselves no out. Firing -- or "reassigning" -- Kidd is an admission that the experiment didn't work, and the Nets are in too deep to admit that this early. All the aforementioned baggage -- the ownership, the t-shirts, the retired jersey -- they're all tangible elements that articulate what's there under the surface: Brooklyn is pot-committed to Kidd.
Overall, it's fair to let it play out. Let Kidd get his players healthy and see how things gel. A big time head coach would probably want his own training camp anyway. But this much is clear from King's cryptic quote: this year's Nets are Kidd's team to lead to a deep playoff run or crash and burn with.