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 Chicago Bulls are one of the teams getting a D-League affiliate franchise this season. The Windy City Bulls will play in the suburb of Hoffman Estates, and now they have a head coach: North Carolina State assistant Bobby Lutz.
Via Upside & Motor‘s Chris Reichert:
Lutz was previously linked to the Bulls’ D-League job in July but there was confusion as to whether he would actually get the job. Now, it appears he has. And he has familiarity with the coaching staff, having served as an assistant coach at Iowa State under Fred Hoiberg in 2010-11, prior to going to NC State.
The release of NBA 2K17, the latest edition of the popular 2K video-game series, is less than a month away. Players are starting to get their likenesses in the game, as well as their player ratings, and tweet them out. Magic forward Evan Fournier wasn’t too happy with the way his came out.
Fournier’s countryman Rudy Gobert got in on the fun, too, changing his Twitter avatar to Fournier’s screenshot and encouraging others to do the same. He even created a hashtag for it.
At least they’re having fun with it.
On Friday, the Jazz traded German center Tibor Pleiss to the Sixers along with two second-round picks for Kendall Marshall. The big draw of the trade for Philly was the picks, and Pleiss is not expected to stay with the Sixers, according to Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia’s Jessica Camerato.
Pleiss had a forgettable season with Utah, and the Sixers have a glut of bigs including Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid and Dario Saric. It would have been virtually impossible for Pleiss to crack the rotation, and it’s unlikely another team picks up his contract, which has $3 million guaranteed this season.
As a Jordan Brand athlete, Russell Westbrook is under the same Nike umbrella as former teammate Kevin Durant. But his latest Jordan spot, released Friday, has a very pointed tagline: “Some run, some make runways.”
Given the circumstances, it’s hard to interpret that as anything other than a reference to Durant signing with the Warriors and Westbrook signing an extension with the Thunder.