We are about to turn the calendar to December, and the New Jersey Nets have yet to win a NBA game.

Prior to last night’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers, the Nets were 0-16, one game away from tying the record for most consecutive losses to start a season.  In an attempt to cure what may have been ailing this traditionally moribund franchise, the team fired head coach and little Opie Cunningham look-alikeLawrence Frank, a man who may be the most successful coach in the team’s history Granted, being the most successful coach in New Jersey Nets history is akin to being the tallest midget in the circus — not really an achievement — and his career record was only 225-247, so it’s not as if they were firing Pat Riley here, but the move was still a little suprising.

“I want to thank Lawrence for more than a decade of service to the Nets, first as an assistant coach and then as the head coach for the past six and a half seasons,” Nets president Rod Thorn said. “Lawrence always approached every day with a passion for his craft that was infectious, and his dedication to the game as well as his work ethic are to be both admired and appreciated. I wish he and his family only the best of good fortune in the future.”

So how did the Nets respond?  With another loss, a 106-87 thrashing that gave the Nets a share of this inauspicious record (the 1988 Miami Heat and the 1999 Los Angeles Clippers also lost their first 17 games to start those seasons). So Frank is out, and the Nets just keep on losing.

This is a franchise in flux as the team anticipated move to Brooklyn is still not scheduled to take place for another two years.  They have a dwindling fan base in New Jersey and a host of injuries to a team that was not all that talented in the first place. This team has a chance to be legendarily bad, no matter who is coaching it.

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