June 2, 2010
According to Jim O’Donnell of the Chicago Sun-Times, Kevin McHale is now an official part of the Bulls’ coaching search. According to McHale, anyway.
Said McHale: ”We’ve had some just primary discussions and I’ve talked to both Gar and Pax a little bit. So, I mean, we’ll see where it goes from there. As far as Chicago goes, everybody, I think, would like that job. It’s a good young team. They’ve got [Derrick] Rose, they’ve got other good young players, they have free agency, full money under the [salary] cap. I think there’s a lot of positives there. But again, I guess that’s just going to be a wait-and-see thing. I think they’re going to interview a lot of people and it’ll be up to Pax and Gar Forman to make that decision.”
As O’Donnell points out, neither Paxson nor Forman have confirmed or denied any names. So make of this what you will. Personally, I can’t imagine the Bulls hiring McHale, not if they’re looking for a playoff savvy head coach.
May 12, 2010
From the ESPN NBA Rumors page: “The Bulls have not spoken with Lawrence Frank yet, but the team is confident they’ll get to interview him for their head coach vacancy. According to the Chicago Tribune, the Bulls have received favorable feedback on the former Nets head coach. The team is in the process of finishing background checks on people they want to interview and they may meet with Thunder assistant coach Mo Cheeks, former Timberwolves executive and head coach Kevin McHale and Mavericks assistant coach Dwane Casey.”
We know Vince Carter has endorsed Frank for the job. We also know McHale has expressed interest in the job. And finally, we know that the New Orleans Hornets have interviewed Frank and talked to Casey and Boston Celtics assistant Tom Thibodeau.
Finally, we know that an NBA source told the Chicago Sun-Times that Bulls general manager Gar Forman is looking for a coach with head coaching experience in both the regular season and playoffs.
But that’s about all we know.
I can’t say any of this buzz has me particularly excited. Frank’s record over his final 2.2 seasons (prior to his dismissal after this season’s 0-16 start) was 68-112. In 2007-08, his Nets went 34-48 with a combo of Jason Kidd/Devin Harris (trade), Vince Carter and Richard Jefferson. The next season, they went 34-48 again with Harris, Carter and various other spare parts (Brook Lopez, Yi Jianlian, Chris Douglas-Roberts, etc.). Sure, they didn’t have a ton of talent…but they weren’t exactly overachieving, were they?
And don’t even get me started about McHale.
If the Bulls were going to fire Vinny Del Negro, I was really hoping they were going to bring in somebody who was clearly and demonstrably better. I don’t know much about Casey, but the Mavericks haven’t fared very well in the playoffs over the past four seasons, three of which ended in first round exits.
I still like Jeff Van Gundy for the position, but his brother, Stan Van Gundy, doesn’t think that’s likely.
Well, all Bulls fans can do is continue to wait and wonder.
January 26, 2009
K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune: “Poor late-game execution once again doomed the Bulls, whose season-long losing streak extended to five games after a 109-108 overtime loss to the Timberwolves. Leading by as many as 16 in the first quarter and shooting 57.6 percent through three quarters, the Bulls collapsed down the stretch by shooting 8-for-29. Randy Foye, 1-for-10 to that point, scored on a driving layup with 41.3 seconds remaining in overtime to provide the final points. Making the basket worse, Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro had employed his ‘offense-defense’ substitution, replacing Ben Gordon and Derrick Rose with better defenders Kirk Hinrich and Thabo Sefolosha for that possession. Gordon and Rose returned on the ensuing possession, and Gordon missed a 19-foot jumper.”
John Jackson of the Chicago Sun-Times: “Magic Johnson, who made his share of game-winning plays, used to call crunch time ‘winning time.’ It has been anything but for the Bulls this season. The Bulls had an opportunity to set up potential game-winning plays at the end of regulation and overtime but couldn’t convert either time in dropping a 109-108 decision to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday night at the Target Center. ‘It’s very frustrating,’ forward Luol Deng said. ‘This is a game we should have won.’”
Mike McGraw of the Daily Herald: “In the final analysis, the Bulls simply couldn’t slow down Minnesota center Al Jefferson, who scored 39 points while hitting 16 of 29 shots. Jefferson scored most every important basket for the Timberwolves except for a driving bank shot by guard Randy Foye with 41.3 seconds remaining that turned out to be the final points of the game. Rookie forward Kevin Love added 19 points and 15 rebounds for the home team.”
Jim Souhan of the Minneapolis Star Tribune: “Rose didn’t dominate Sunday; he still looks like the future. He scored 18 points with seven assists and three rebounds without ever looking lost. If he can develop an outside shot, he will be the NBA’s next great point guard.”
More K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune: “There are times during almost any NBA game where head coaches appear as if they’d rather be gargling with cod liver oil than patrolling the sideline. Yet even with a five-game losing streak, a minor incident with Ben Gordon angrily questioning a fine and all the injuries the Bulls have endured, Vinny Del Negro is savoring the ride of his rookie coaching experience. ‘I enjoy it all, the good times, the bad times, the frustrations,’ Del Negro said. “Are you going to give in to the adversity, or is your character going to show? I think our guys have handled things well at times. Other times we haven’t. Hopefully, we’ll team up so we compete and get better defensively.’”
Jerry Zgoda of the Minneapolis Star Tribune: “The Wolves trailed 12-2 and 20-4 almost before they knew it, but they recovered with an effort the rest of the way that was long on grit and resiliency and lacking nearly any aesthetics. ‘I tell the guys that every night is not a Picasso’ [Timberwolves coach Kevin] McHale said.’I'm sure Picasso threw more pictures in the garbage than he put on museum walls. I won’t watch the film of this one. I’ll just wonder for the rest of my life how we won’”