DETROIT (AP) — The Detroit Pistons will offer Lawrence Frank their coaching position within two days, according to a person familiar with the situation.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Thursday night because the team isn’t commenting on its search. The offer was first reported by Yahoo! Sports.
The Pistons fired John Kuester on June 5 after the team missed the playoffs each of his two seasons as coach.
Frank went 225-241 in 6 1/2 seasons as coach of the New Jersey Nets. He was fired by New Jersey in November 2009 after the team started that season 0-16. He was an assistant for the Boston Celtics last season.
Frank did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.
The Pistons are rebuilding under new owner Tom Gores, who took over the team at the beginning of June. Detroit went 30-52 last season amid feuding between coaches and players.
Frank has emerged as the team’s choice after a lengthy search that also included former Atlanta Hawks coach Mike Woodson, a Pistons assistant when they won the title in 2004, and Milwaukee Bucks assistant Kelvin Sampson.
Frank replaced Byron Scott as New Jersey’s coach in January 2004 and began his career with a 13-game winning streak. He ended his stint with the Nets with a losing streak that was even longer.
In between, he took New Jersey to the second round of the playoffs three times. The Nets lost a seven-game series to the Pistons in 2004.
Detroit has fallen on hard times since then. Kuester was 57-107 over two seasons as coach. This past season was a dreary one, with the proud franchise making more news for internal squabbling than any on-court accomplishments.
Empty seats were common at home games — a far cry from the days when the Pistons went to at least the conference finals every year from 2003-08.
Kuester benched point guard Rodney Stuckey barely a week into last season and benched him again with just over a week to go when there was friction between the two. The low point was probably Feb. 25 in Philadelphia. Seven players missed at least part of a team shootaround, and Kuester played only the remaining six that night in a blowout loss to the 76ers.
For much of the season, the team seemed in limbo because of a drawn-out sale by owner Karen Davidson. The Pistons finally announced in April that Gores was going to take over, and the deal became final after the season.
The NBA’s lockout has added an unusual amount of uncertainty to this offseason, and the Pistons are facing more than many teams. Tayshaun Prince is a free agent and may not return. Ben Wallace said he was leaning toward coming back, but he turns 37 in September and played only 54 games last season.
AP Sports Writer Larry Lage contributed to this report.
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