NBA

Prunty to coach Nets in banned Kidd's stead

10/30 3:45 PM

Jason Kidd has designated assistant Joe Prunty as the acting head coach for the Brooklyn Nets' season opener at Cleveland.

CLEVELAND -- Jason Kidd has designated assistant Joe Prunty as the acting head coach for the Brooklyn Nets' season opener at Cleveland.

Kidd is serving a two-game suspension after pleading guilty in July to driving while ability impaired during an incident while he was playing for the New York Knicks.

The decision to go with Prunty, who is entering his 18th NBA season, was based on keeping the roles of the assistant coaches intact, according to Prunty. Lead assistant Lawrence Frank, who has the most head-coaching experience on the bench as former Nets and Pistons head coach, will continue to orchestrate the team's defense. Assistant John Welch will do the same with the offense.

"We all talked about it and we have our roles that we all fill," said Prunty, who was most recently an assistant with the Cleveland Cavaliers for three seasons before joining the Nets. "Lawrence does the defense, John does the offense and look, it's a tremendous staff."

The Nets don't expect anything to be drastically different without Kidd, who was going to watch the game from the team hotel. Kidd will make his regular-season coaching debut on Sunday at Orlando.

"I don't think it changes anything," forward Kevin Garnett said. "This is his system. Anything that will be done will obviously be reported back to him. Lawrence is going to probably hold us down until he gets back, and we will adjust accordingly."

Prunty, who was also named coach of Great Britain's national team in June, said he will rely on his staff and operate the same way Kidd did in the preseason with his assistants.

"What I am going to do tonight best is rely on the staff and rely on the players," he said. "We are not really changing what we do. When we go into timeouts, we are going to talk and then we are going to the bench and if it's on me to tell the team, then I will tell them. If it is something defensively and Lawrence is going to tell them, that is what we are going to do.

"Roy Rogers, Eric Hughes and Charles Klask, we all have our roles that we fill. Like we have a deep team, we have a deep staff and we felt this was the best way to approach it."


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