Lawrence Frank was red-faced from embarrassment and anger, and you could understand why he felt both.
On the day the Nets reached the midpoint, their coach reached his boiling point and the result was an eye-opener.
Frank benched Vince Carter and Devin Harris for the second half of the Nets' 105-85 loss today to the Celtics. It definitely was an attention-getter and a move you couldn't blame.
Where was their pride? Where was their anger? Where was their resistance? They were nowhere to be found so Frank put Carter and Harris on the bench.
"I was just totally embarrassed about our performance," Frank said after the Nets third-straight loss. "It starts with me and it goes on down to our main players. I think it was just an embarrassing start to the game and I decided to go in another direction."
Carter seemed OK. He was up, cheering for his teammates. Harris didn't seem as OK as Carter, though, and admitted "it took a lot of guts."
It did, and I tend to believe that Frank would not have done that to Jason Kidd if Kidd were still here. He wouldn't respond as well as Carter did to public humiliation. Plus, if you lose Kidd as a coach, you've lost him.
But I was among those who believed Kidd should have been benched after the migraine incident to send a message to the rest of the team. But the Nets would then be admitting Kidd didn't have a migraine, which they still haven't.
Anyway, this was Frank's way of sending a message, I believe Andy Reid-style.
The Eagles coach benched his best player, Donovan McNabb. It got everyone's attention and McNabb has been sharper, better and tomorrow plays in the NFC championship game.
So if the Nets are playing for the East title you'll know why.
Seriously, Frank had to do something and sitting Eduardo Najera and Ryan Anderson or Bobby Simmons and Jarvis Hayes wouldn't have done anything.
But sitting the two best players, your captain and the player the organization hopes is feeding LeBron James (cough) in a few years, the two you want to be on the All-Star team this season, that's going to open some eyes.
"You can read whatever you want to read into it," Frank said. "But like I said, as a representative of this organization I was very embarrassed by the way we came out."
There's no denying Carter hasn't played well the past three games, which coincides with his ankle injury. He's 7-for-32 with 22 points in the last three games. Harris has been abused by Rajon Rondo in the two meetings with the Celtics this past week and was among those who let Jerryd Bayless do whatever he wanted when Portland was in town.
Frank had to do something, and he isn't too worried about how his two best players will respond.
"You make the decisions you make, and they're well though-out," he said. "That's part of directing and leading a team. You're not there to have a consensus opinion. You're there to do what's in the best interests of the team."