The Celtics found a coach with NBA head coaching experience to fill the spot of Tim Thibodeau, who left for the Chicago Bulls. As expected, the Celtics hired former New Jersey Nets coach Lawrence Frank as Doc Rivers’ lead assistant coach, according to a team source.
Frank, 39, was fired by the Nets last November after six seasons. A one-time manager for the Indiana University basketball team under Bobby Knight, Frank ascended to an NBA head coaching role 12 years later. He was an assistant at the University of Tennessee and then with the Vancouver Grizzles before being named interim head coach of the Nets in January 2004 when Byron Scott was fired.
He led New Jersey to a 25-15 mark at the Eastern Conference semifinals that first season and then playoff appearances in the next three seasons before consecutive 34-48 marks. The Nets, in total rebuilding mode after trading Jason Kidd and Richard Jefferson, fired Frank after a 0-16 start to the 2009-10 season.
Frank had been working as an analyst for NBA TV and traveled to Orlando last week to interview for the position with the Celtics’ brass at the Orlando Summer League.
“Lawrence Frank is a great defense guy, but he knows the game (also),” Rivers said last week about Frank. “I want to get a guy like that who does everything.”