Jerebko didn’t get along with Frank, and poor player relations was a huge reason for Frank’s dismissal.
Frank banished Jerebko to the bench from November to the middle of February, as their relationship deteriorated to the point where their disdain for one another was an open secret.
“It was a tough year, looking back on it,” Jerebko said. “I’m excited for a fresh start and I know my teammates are too. Guys are ready to get going with a coach and fresh start.”
Jerebko started the season terribly, and Frank was right to bench him. Jerebko was shooting and dribbling too much, defending and rebounding too little. Jerebko can be a very productive reserve, but not when he’s playing with that mindset.
Frank probably buried Jerebko too deeply, but remember, when Jerebko finally returned to the rotation, his on-court approach had improved. Whether or not Frank’s handling of Jerebko led to the change, the result was positive, as the Pistons got the hustle player who they needed.
The problem, it seems, was communication. Frank didn’t have the trust of his players, so when he benched them, unhappiness grew more than it would with most coaches, apparently to the point of “disdain.”
Maurice Cheeks should help these issues immediately, especially with Jerebko, who already seems receptive to Cheeks’ instructions.