The Bulls are going to fire head coach Vinny Del Negro, right? I mean, it’s been talked about for months. And there was actually a physical confrontation between Del Negro and VP Paxson. There’s no way he survives through Tuesday.
..OR IS THERE?!
Sorry, been watching old mysteries all weekend.
The Chicago Daily Herald reports that a weekend meeting was completed between Bulls upper management and Del Negro, and there still exists a possibility that Del Negro will be retained. The reasons? Well, the results, quite honestly.
His many, many, many detractors point to in-game failures to adjust, a seeming lack of response from the club to his coaching, timeout management and rotation failures as reasons for his dismissal. And certainly, the appearance of a coach and general manager near fisticuffs can’t be good for PR.
But then there’s the results. Joakim Noah has become one of the best centers in the league under his watch. Derrick Rose has become a top flight point guard. The Bulls have made the playoffs each year, despite dramatic roster changes. And they remained competitive throughout both the regular and post season. Plus, he has public support from several players.
But as McGraw points out for the Herald, the biggest reason for Del Negro’s dismissal will be the attractiveness of the club to free agents. The Bulls want to lure one, if not two, max free agents, and to do so, they need to have an organization top to bottom that players want to be a part of. Relying on the market and history of the club along with the money isn’t enough, not in this summer’s market.
Del Negro is likely gone, but the fact that it’s a question does give pause to the automatic dismissal of Del Negro’s future job prospects.
The Spurs beat the Mavericks by 26 points on Friday night, a game all of the Dallas players would love to forget. But there was a funny moment for rookie big man Salah Mejri: after a dunk, he appeared to yell something at the San Antonio bench. Gregg Popovich and Tim Duncan were completely nonplussed.
For what it’s worth, Mejri later tweeted that he wasn’t intending to be disrespectful.
Hassan Whiteside recorded a triple-double last night against the Hornets, and his tenth block was particularly impressive. He didn’t so much block Marvin Williams‘ layup attempt as pluck it out of the air with one hand. It almost looks like it should count as a block, rebound and steal at the same time.
The NBA world has taken notice of the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. In Thursday night’s home game against the Knicks on TNT, Pistons players wore warmup shirts that read “FLINT NOW,” and the organization announced a $500,000 donation towards providing clean water for residents of the town.
Former Pistons great and general basketball legend Rasheed Wallace went even further, according to a tweet from his alma mater, the University of North Carolina:
Sheed obviously has a connection to Michigan, having played in Detroit for six years (including on the 2004 title team) and serving as an assistant coach for the Pistons during the 2013-14 season. This was an incredible gesture by him for the residents of a town that has been without drinkable water for a long time.
The Kings are a complete mess right now. After a loss to the Nets on Friday night, the team is reportedly considering firing head coach George Karl, who has been with the team for just about one year, and DeMarcus Cousins says they have “a bigger issue than the players.”
But, on the bright side, Cousins is still a monster on the court. During the Nets loss, he posted a triple-double with 24 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, showing why he’s the one thing about this franchise that is going to be worth talking about long-term.