Tag: Vinny Del Negro firing

Rockets assistant Elston Turner interviews for Bull head coaching gig

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Thumbnail image for bulls_logo.gifDo the Bulls know what they want?

Rockets assistant Elston Turner sat down with Chicago Bulls brass for a four-hour interview Thursday about the team’s head coaching gig, according to NBA.com’s David Aldridge. Turner has been one of the hot assistant coaching names around the league for several years now, interviewing for several jobs including the Phoenix Suns job a couple years ago.

Aldridge also contradicts earlier reports saying that the Bulls did have interest in bringing Doug Collins back for a second stint with the team. However, Collins has now taken the Sixers job and is off the table.

Turner may make a good head coach one day, this is not meant as a slight to him, but after firing Vinny Del Negro we kept hearing how the Bulls wanted to bring in a coach with NBA playoff coaching experience. That list of coaches — Lawrence Frank, Mo Cheeks — may not have thrilled them, but do they really want another coach getting his first chance at the big chair? Does that impress LeBron James and other free agents they are going to be courting?

Do the Bulls know what they want as a head coach?

Bulls John Paxson apologizes for incident with Vinny Del Negro

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Speaking publicly for the first time since the March 30 incident, Bulls Vice President John Paxson apologized to Vinny Del Negro, the Bulls organization and its fans.

“I hold myself accountable, and responsible,” Paxson said. “I am not at all proud of how I handled the situation.”

The situation was after a game against the Suns when Del Negro played Joakim Noah more than the 35 minutes he was allotted per game by Bulls management. Noah was recovering from plantar fasciitis, which led to the limits being imposed on the coach.

Paxson confronted Del Negro in what turned into a physical incident.

“I felt at the time I was standing up for a policy we put in place, but I was wrong in how I handled it,” Paxson said.

Paxson would not get into the details of who said what at the press conference (which I watched online). But now that Del Negro has been fired, Paxson could afford to come forward and seem to take the fall. It was really Del Negro that took the fall, he got axed. Logic dictates this troubled relationship was a part of the reason Del Negro was fired, even if the Bulls people deny it.

Paxson said his role with the team now — as it has been before the season started — was not to be involved in the day-to-day operations of the team. He added that the transition has been hard for him.

“My role now, is more of an extension of (Bulls owner) Jerry (Reinsdorf), to keep an eye on the organization and to make sure we go about things the right way,” Paxson said.

Paxson said this incident should not define him. It probably won’t. The next coach the Bulls hire will.

Vinny Del Negro is out. Now Bulls: Who you got that's better?


We’re going to take Bulls General Manager Gar Forman at his word.

He stuck with his themes at the press conference this morning where he talked about the firing of Vinny Del Negro. (I watched the conference online). Forman deserves the break, he was thrown out to the wolves to explain this. He was the guy standing in front of LeBron to take the charge. He stood there like a man.

He said the team had gotten better under Del Negro (something John Paxson echoed) but a “new dynamic” was needed.

“In order to take the next step, we need a new voice,” Forman said.

Fair enough.

So who you got? Who is out there that is going to be that much better?

Forman said he is the point man on the coach search, but he would not talk names. The Bulls have said — after bringing in a rookie in Del Negro — they want a coach with NBA head coaching experience. So here is a list of guys currently on the market:

Doug Collins (which would be a second dance in Chicago, so probably not), Lawrence Frank, Kevin McHale, Maurice Cheeks, Byron Scott and Dwane Casey.

Any of those names blow you away? One of those guys leap off the page and say, “Wow, he’s way better than Vinny?”

Scott has had success — and success with top point guards in Jason Kidd and Chris Paul — but he has lost both teams after a few years and been let go because players no longer responded. Is he the long-term coach for this young team going forward?

Maybe there is somebody else out there, a rabbit they are going to pull out of their hat. Of course, then there is the question of signing him — remember that two years ago the Bulls had long conversations with Mike D’Antoni (who would have been a great fit with his system) but the deal fell apart when owner Jerry Reinsdorf and D’Antoni talked money. Top coaches cost, and the Bulls didn’t want to pay it.

And here we are. They have let go of a solid coach that got the team to play hard, saying they wanted a new voice and dynamic.

So, who do you have that’s better? The pressure is now on you three — Forman, Paxson and Reinsdorf. This is your summer, this is your call.

Report: Vinny Del Negro fired in Chicago


UPDATE 7:59 pm: The Bulls have called a press conference for noon tomorrow to make this all official. As if it isn’t already.

7:18 pm: At least he’s not twisting in the wind anymore.

After taking their sweet time to get around to it, the Chicago Bulls have fired Vinny Del Negro, according to the CBS station in Chicago.

This move was the opposite of a surprise, rumors had been swirling around him since the start of the season. Del Negro had met with owner Jerry Reinsdorf Sunday at the end of a series of organizational meetings and the firing was expected to come tomorrow, but the sooner the more merciful.

In two years, Del Negro was 82-82 as the head of the Bulls. His detractors pointed to a very simplistic offense that relied heavily — even by NBA standards — on the pick-and-roll. His rotations were questionable, as were his in-game adjustments, defensive coaching and use of timeouts.

There had been clashes between team Vice President John Paxson and Del Negro, clashes that had gotten physical. The clashes reportedly had been over limiting the minutes of Joakim Noah as he came off injury, although it ran deeper than that. However, officials have said the firing has nothing to do with that. Right.

Say what you will of Del Negro, his players busted it hard for him. He took a limited roster — one that this season had been stripped down to clear cap room, had mid-season trades of key players and had a rash of injuries — to the playoffs both years. Last year the Bulls pushed the Celtics to seven games in the first round.

In addition, the two stars of the team — Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah — had come out in support of Del Negro.

But this move was really about the Bulls management feeling it needed to make a move that would entice a big free agent to come to the Windy City. Chicago has a lot to offer hometown boy Dwyane Wade or a center like Chris Bosh — great city, good talent on the roster, history of winning, and most importantly a lot of money (and cap space) to stock the roster with talent.

The Bulls have not yet reached out to another coach, however they are said to want somebody with NBA head coaching experience. Coaches listed as potential replacements include Doug Collins (which would be a second time around, so probably not), Lawrence Frank, Kevin McHale, Maurice Cheeks, Byron Scott and Dwane Casey. Ironically, the coach the Bulls hired that had the most success — Phil Jackson — had no NBA head coaching experience at the time.

Vinny Del Negro still appears to be on chopping block, but Bulls taking their sweet time


Sunday — maybe over a nice brunch that included crab omelets and mimosas — Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro and team owner Jerry Reinsdorf sat down and talked. Vinny made his case, which should have included the sentence, “You gave me a crap roster that kept getting injured and I still got you to the playoffs.”

Mimosas, support of the players and frank talk didn’t help, according to the Chicago Tribune Del Negro will be fired Tuesday.

Vinny Del Negro met with Bulls Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf on Sunday, but the embattled coach’s 11th-hour argument to keep his job won’t change what the Tribune has reported since December 2009:

Del Negro is expected to be dismissed with one year and roughly $2 million remaining on his guaranteed three-year contract. Barring a snag, the Bulls will make this news official Tuesday.

Why wait a day? Why not just do it today? Well, because they’re the Bulls. Who knows?

Coaches listed as potential replacements are guys with NBA coaching experience: Doug Collins, Lawrence Frank, Kevin McHale, Maurice Cheeks, Byron Scott and Dwane Casey are on that list, according to the Tribune.

Del Negro had some issues. His offense was simplistic, as was his in game strategy. His player rotations were questionable.

Chicago has a lot going for it — great city, good talent on the roster, history of winning, and most importantly a lot of money (and cap space) to stock the roster this summer. But if I’m Chris Bosh or one of the other big name free agents that the Bulls want to bring in — guys who have a lot of suitors and a lot of options — this whole episode has to give me pause.

You’ve got a coach that your two best players supported very publicly, but you fired him anyway. And you took your sweet time to do it — even waiting an extra day after the big meeting with the owner — for no particular reason. Then you are going to replace him with someone from a retread list of names, not a real star coach.

What exactly about this process is making the franchise more attractive to a free agent again?