Lawrence Frank: "Jason Kidd changed the culture of the Nets"

Updated: June 4, 2013

Jason Kidd called it a career yesterday just one day after Grant Hill, his co-rookie of the year partner, called it a career as well.

The Kidd for Marbury trade can be argued it was the greatest trade ever made when one looks at the immediate impact Kidd had on a downtrodden franchise.

This interview with Lawrence Frank tells everything you need to know about Kidd and his impact of the Nets franchise then and even now.

It is quite obvious that Frank has a deep love for Kidd and how he willed teams to win.

[quote_simple]Lawrence Frank – ESPNNY Radio Michael Kay Show

Jason Kidd #5 New Jersey Nets

He is one of the greatest to ever play the game. He is a first ballet hall of famer and when you study the game and study the history of the game you study the guys that can change the culture and not just of the team but of their organization.  Jason is one of the few who did that.

You think about where we were, where the organization was prior to him being there.  We were a borderline NBA/CBA team.  Everyone mocked our team, our group, our coaching and our ownership and yet he comes and single handedly just changes everything.

Two consecutive Finals appearances and that third year getting to the conference semis playing on one leg.  Individual statistics speak because for him he had more assists than Magic (Johnson) and Oscar (Robertson), had more steals than Jordan or Payton, he made more threes than Larry Bird and he out rebounded some of the great big guys in our generation.  Yet for him it was always about team.

I consider myself very very fortunate and blessed to have coached him and he is one of the all time greats and I love the guy.

The thing that really stands out about Jason is not necessarily his great skill, which was tremendous, but it was his uncommon will.Lawrence Frank talk to JKidd

There is some people that with their actions they speak so loud that they don’t have to say too much.  With Jason he wasn’t one to stand up in a lockerroom and make bold declarations but what he did do was the first time most of his teammates ever met him after we made the Marbury/Kidd trade was the night before our first practice.

He walks into the team dinner and after Byron Scott got finished talking and he raised his hand and said, “Coach can I say something?”

When you know Jason now, you know how rare that is and Byron said of course.

Kidd says, “Guys, we are no longer gonna be the old New Jersey Nets and we are the new New Jersey Nets and we are gonna make the playoffs this year. ”

You have to put it in context, we won 26 games the year before.  It wasn’t like there was all this optimism brimming that we were about to turn the corner.  There wasn’t and yet his first practice where he missed the first ten minutes because of his physical and he jumps on the floor and he is going at a speed like our guys were in slow motion.  Remember the old record players with the 78’s, then all of a sudden he dives out-of-bounds saves a loose ball and all our guys look around like ” wait a minute, we have never seen that.”

It was his everyday fierce competitiveness that rubbed off on all our guys.  So some guys who were competitors but weren’t ultra competitive Lawrence Frank mad picall of sudden played at a higher level and some guys who maybe were a little bit soft were now playing at a whole lot tougher from an intensity level.  He just put so much peer pressure on his teammates that they felt indebted to him.

You know when people say you play for the coach, you play for each other, literally our guys played for Jason because they didn’t want to let him down.  They realized how much work he put into it and they saw how hard he played that they felt that if they didn’t bring it that they would let him down.  You can’t quantify what he did.

He has all the individual stats but it was just that uncommon will that he thrust upon on everyone else there was that genuine brotherhood that I can’t let this guy down because he puts way too much into it.[/quote_simple]

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