Two-hundred and twenty-six years ago today, New Jersey suffered its largest earthquake in the state’s history.
On Sunday, the Garden State is in the midst of another shakeup.
The woeful New Jersey Nets fired Lawrence Frank after the team started the season with an abysmal 0-16 record.
Frank’s firing marks the end of one of the most improbable ascensions to a pro head coaching gig.
Lawrence Frank’s basketball playing career was limited to the Jewish Community Center and Catholic Youth Organization teams of Teaneck, N.J.
He never played high school ball and in college he was a four-year student manager for Bob Knight’s Indiana University squad.
Frank worked his way into the assistant coaching fraternity, first at Marquette then University of Tennessee before spending three years as an assistant coach for the Vancouver Grizzlies. He moved to New Jersey in 2000 to serve under Byron Scott, but eventually succeeded Scott when the latter was fired in 2004. Frank went on to set an NBA record for most consecutive wins by a head coach to start a coaching career when he opened with a 13-0 mark.
The 13-game win streak is also the longest winning streak for any coach in any of the four major pro sports to begin a career (though Indianapolis Colts head coach Jim Caldwell is flirting with the mark after an 11-0 start this year).
Unfortunately, it was another streak that cost Frank his job. Sixteen straight losses to open the season will do that. But luckily for Larry, he wasn’t in charge when the Nets made history Sunday night with an NBA record 0-17 start to a season.