Frankly, Nets want Lawrence long-term

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Lawrence Frank will be back to coach the New Jersey Nets next season, and possibly longer if an agreement on a long-term contract can be reached.

The Nets on Monday picked up the contract option on the 33-year-old Frank, who took over on an interim basis in January and guided the team to the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Financial terms of the deal were not released. Team president Rod Thorn said last week that the Nets planned to negotiate with Frank on a long-term deal. Andy Miller, Frank's agent, said Friday that two sides have not begun talks.

Frank guided the Nets to a 25-15 record after taking over in
late January when Byron Scott was fired. He set a record for major
sports in North America by winning his first 13 games as the coach.

"I think he did a remarkable job under the circumstances,"
Thorn said. "Just a remarkable job."

The Nets' bid for a third straight Eastern Conference title
ended when they were eliminated in the second round of the playoffs
by the Detroit Pistons in seven games.

New Jersey had a 3-2 lead in the series before the eventual NBA
champions rallied.

Miller had no timetable for new talks with the Nets. He wasn't
worried that Frank might head into next season as a lame duck.

"He is a good coach," Miller said. "The more time he can
develop his body of work, the more people will appreciate him."

The Nets had until the end of the month to exercise the option
of Frank's contract.

Miller said Frank was handed a letter Wednesday informing him of
the move.

"I think he [Frank] was so focused on preparing for next
season, I don't think he even thought about it," Miller said.

Frank did not return a telephone call left at his office Friday.

After the Nets were eliminated, he didn't help his bargaining
position, saying he would accept whatever the Nets offered.

"I love to coach and I love our guys," Frank said. "This is
what you want to do for the rest of your life."

Information from The Associated Press and SportsTicker was used in this report.