Vinny Del Negro just got the dreaded vote of confidence.
His team is now up 2-0 in the first round over Memphis but there is still plenty of talk about the Clippers needing to get deep into the playoffs — such as the Western Conference finals — or his job could be in jeopardy.
Of course, if you ask management about his job security during the middle of a playoff run what do you expect them to say?
Gary Sacks, the Clippers’ vice president of basketball operations, wanted to put an end to speculation about Coach Vinny Del Negro’s future. Sacks said that the organization supports Del Negro and that officials are happy with how the team has played.
“Our head coach and his staff have done a terrific job here,” Sacks told the Times on Monday night. “They deserve a huge amount of credit for the way the team has played and the way our roster has developed.”
Let’s be honest here, if the Clippers loved him that much they would have extended his contract already — it ends when the season does — and not left him in a lame duck situation.
Part two of being honest: Chris Paul is a free agent that the Clippers are expected to and must re-sign, he is the focus of the organization, and if he is frustrated after the Clippers are eliminated from the playoffs and suggests a coaching change to management, it will happen.
Del Negro has supporters and detractors within the organization. Welcome to professional sports. There was frustration that it was Del Negro pushing the idea of a trade for Kevin Garnett at the deadline (sending out DeAndre Jordan and other players) while management wants to keep Jordan. But winning will trump that, especially winning in the playoffs.
But if the Clippers advance to the second round following their first ever division title, it would be interesting to see the Clippers let Del Negro walk after the most successful season in team history.