Lawrence Frank was recognized by a panel of his peers on Thursday for his work in transforming the Los Angeles Clippers into one of the elite teams in the NBA and a force in the Western Conference this past season. As announced in a press release on NBA.com, the franchise’s president of basketball operations was voted as the league’s Executive of the Year for the 2019-20 campaign.
The 50-year-old received 10 of 29 possible first-place votes from a panel of executives from around the association, earning 61 total points. Oklahoma City Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti was the runner-up, notching 41 points, along with four first-place votes, while Miami Heat President Pat Riley finished in third place in the vote with 39 points and four first-place selections.
Although the Clippers did not advance to the Western Conference Finals, as some had predicted they would before the season began, their run-up to the league’s mid-March stoppage in response to the novel coronavirus outbreak was one of the more impressive in the league. When voters made their picks for year-end awards this summer, they were instructed only to consider games contested before the NBA’s return to play.
The roster that Frank assembled — which was headlined by multi-time All-Stars and prized offseason acquisitions Kawhi Leonard and Paul George — had compiled the second-best record in the West before play was halted at 44-20. Los Angeles had finished in eighth place in the West in 2018-19.
This was accomplished in spite of the fact that injuries, load management and other factors forced now-former head coach Doc Rivers to utilize 29 different starting lineups over that span.
Leonard was signed by Frank during the offseason as a free agent, while George was acquired shortly after via a trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Before Frank joined the management ranks with the Clippers in 2016, he had been an assistant coach with the club under Rivers. He also spent several years on the sidelines as a head coach, first with the New Jersey Nets from 2004 to 2009, then later with the Detroit Pistons from 2011 to 2013.
He was most successful with the Nets, whom he led to four postseason appearances in his first four campaigns at the helm. His best effort came during the 2005-06 season when he directed a Jason Kidd, Vince Carter and Richard Jefferson-led squad to a 49-33 record and an Atlantic Division title. The team advanced to the conference semifinal round in the playoffs, before falling in five games to the eventual champion Miami Heat.
As shared previously by The Inquisitr, the Clippers recently made the decision to move on from Rivers, who quickly came to terms on a deal with the Philadelphia 76ers.