Detroit Pistons head coach Frank talks with his players during their NBA game against the Toronto Raptors in Auburn Hills

Report: Lawrence Frank tells Pistons “pick up my extension or let me go”


Lawrence Frank job as the Pistons coach was already in trouble.

There were serious questions about whether Frank the right guy to coach a developing team. The Pistons owner said he expected to make the playoffs this season and what he got instead was a 29-win season. Which followed a 25-win season. And while this isn’t a very good roster in Detroit there are good young pieces and questions about how they are being used and developed.

So Frank went on the offensive, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

With his brief tenure rapidly reaching a crossroads, Detroit Pistons coach Lawrence Frank informed owner Tom Gores that he shouldn’t be retained for the third year of his contract unless the franchise is willing to guarantee the deal’s fourth-year team option, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

In the week prior to completing his second season as Pistons coach on Wednesday night, Frank delivered this message to Gores and Detroit general manager Joe Dumars in face-to-face and telephone discussions, sources said.

That sounds like a coach who realizes he is in trouble trying to make a last stand to me.

The Pistons are going to have a lot of decisions to make this summer — they have more than $20 million in cap space to start building a better roster around the strong front line of Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe. They have a couple nice backcourt pieces in Brandon Knight and Kyle Singler, but the Pistons have a long way to go with this roster.

The question is will Joe Dumars get the chance to build that roster and will Frank get the chance to coach it?

We’ll likely find out those answers in the next couple days, but it sounds like Frank knew he was being pushed out the door.

James Harden: “I am the best player in the league. I believe that.”

James Harden, Stephen Curry
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James Harden was the MVP last season — if you ask his fellow NBA players.

The traditional award (based on a media vote) went to Stephen Curry (in the closest vote in four years), and that was the right call (in my mind). But from the time it happened Harden did not buy it. And he still doesn’t buy it. In the least — and he’s using that as fuel for this season. That’s what he told Fran Blinebury over at

“I am the best player in the league. I believe that,” he said. “I thought I was last year, too.”

Well, it’s a more realistic claim than Paul George’s.

“But that award means most valuable to your team. We finished second in the West, which nobody thought we were going to do at the beginning of the year even when everybody was healthy. We were near the top in having the most injuries. We won our division in a division where every single team made the playoffs.

“There’s so many factors. I led the league in total points scored, minutes played. Like I said, I’m not taking anything away from Steph, but I felt I deserved the Most Valuable Player. That stays with me.”

That’s very Kobe Bryant of you to turn that into fuel. Defining the MVP Award is an annual discussion that nobody agrees on.

I could get into how Harden was the old-school, traditional stats MVP, how that ignores how Steve Kerr used Curry, and how that opened up the Warriors’ offense to championship levels. Curry put up numbers, but he was also the distraction, the bright star that Kerr used to open up looks for Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and others. Curry’s strength was not just what he did with the ball in his hands, but his gravity to draw defenders even when he didn’t. Did the Warriors stay healthier than the Rockets? No doubt. Should Curry be penalized for that?

It’s simple for Harden — if he can put up those numbers again, if he can be the fulcrum of a top offense, he will be in the discussion for MVP again. And, if he can lead the Rockets beyond the conference finals, nobody will talk about that MVP snub anyway.