The Vinny Watch continues…

Most people thought Vinny Del Negro would be fired immediately after the Bulls were eliminated from the playoffs. Well, it turns out we’re going to have to wait a few more days to find out anything.

According to Melissa Isaacson of “The Chicago Bulls will not make an announcement on the fate of head coach Vinny Del Negro at least until the weekend, general manager Gar Forman said following the Bulls’ first-round series-ending loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday night. The team will have player exit meetings Wednesday and organizational meetings for the next couple of days. No decision will be made until those meetings are concluded and Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf returns from out of town this weekend, Forman said.”

So, either: 1) Vinny might actually have a shot at returning next season, or 2) the front office wants to make it look like Vinny has a shot at returning next season. My gut tells me it’s more 2 than 1, but who knows?

Maybe the delay is due in part to the fact that Derrick Rose has been very vocal in his support of Del Negro. Here’s what Derrick had to say immediately after the team’s first round elimination:

“We both came in as rookies. It would be devastating. But it’s not up to me, it’s up to the front office. They’re the ones that drafted me, so I guess I’m behind them. It would be unusual, especially since it’s our second time [in the playoffs]. But the league changes constantly. I guess that’s how it is in the NBA. It’s tough to coach up here.

“That’s a guy, when we both came in, he let me have my freedom. He still coached me. He let me make my mistakes. We watched film together every day. He taught me a lot of offense and defense, what I’m supposed to do. But the decision is not up to me. It’s up to the front office, so I’m just going to let them deal with that.”

Regardless of how management feels about Del Negro, that kind of support from the franchise player — I mean, Derrick said Vinny getting canned would be “devastating” — could go a long way. It’s also interesting how Rose said: “They’re the ones that drafted me, so I guess I’m behind them.” He has to guess? It sounds to me like Derrick is more in Vinny’s corner than management’s.

He isn’t the only one. Earlier this season, Charles Barkley gave Del Negro his vote of approval, and even LeBron had some positive things to say after last night’s game: “Vinny and that coaching staff had those guys ready. They have a group of young talent that loves to play the game of basketball and they play hard. There was not one point where they kind of laid down. I’m not trying to make a pitch for Vinny because I know what’s going on — ‘Is Vinny in or is Vinny out?’ That’s not my job, but this team that we played in this series played hard.”

That’s a lot of love coming Del Negro’s way. In the end, it might not make any difference. If management wants him gone, he’s gone. But we won’t know for sure until the weekend.

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33 Responses to The Vinny Watch continues…

  1. Dashante April 28, 2010 at 5:40 pm #

    Keep Vinny fire Paxson.

    Vinny has done a great job in Chicago. I don’t think Rose would be this good this early if he hadn’t. Vinny hasn’t done EVERYTHING right, but he’s done a better job than Paxson, that’s for sure.

  2. bobbysimmons April 28, 2010 at 6:04 pm #

    Whatever Derrick says will come to pass. He says he likes VDN, he stays. Why in the world do you think they kept Hinrich during the trade deadline when they say there were offers? Because Derrick called him the “glue guy.” I’m betting VDN is back.

    Brad S. April 28, 2010 at 6:07 pm #

    Some Random Thoughts on Vinny:

    I was once involved with a church that was looking for a youth pastor. They found a candidate who was flawed, but he fit the 2 requirements that they were looking for: He was inexpensive and he was a project. The church board figured that with the right guidance, he could grow into the position and in the mean-time his salary would not break the bank. But after they hired him, they would flip-out when he made a mistake. I see many similarities between that church/youth pastor and the Bulls/VDN.

    The Bulls did not go after a “big name” coach. They told us they were willing to take a raw candidate and allow him time to grow, (read: we are too cheap to pay at this time.), …so they hired Vinny.

    All in all, I think he did pretty well. Making two playoff appearances while juggling different rosters, losing your leading scorer, dealing with a mercurial Tyrus, a rookie floor general, and a rash of injuries shows that he kept his team motivated and working hard. Let’s not forget he did much of his work under rampant speculation that he could be fired at any time. Was he perfect? No. His basketball strategy seemed at be straight out of a middle school league, his timeout useage has been underwhelming, and his offensive plays showed a real lack of creativity and ingenuity. …But the Bulls did hire a project.

    While it may be time for the Bulls management to find a new coach, (read: Okay, now we have a team we will spend money on.) that is not necessarily an indictment of their current coach. He was always professional. He never embarassed the city or the team. I can find no reason to blast Mr. Del Negro. He probably gave the organization more return on investment than they paid for.

  4. Dashante April 28, 2010 at 6:48 pm #

    If Vinny leaves Chicago, I am no longer a Bulls fan. I hope management keeps that in mind when making they decision.

    Adam April 28, 2010 at 6:59 pm #

    i feel like to get rid of someone they have to do something wrong, I don’t think Vinny did anything wrong. Unless I am missing something…no one expected this Bulls team to make it round 2 of the playoffs, especially with all these injuries. i’m just confused with what the major reason for getting rid of him would be.

    Savage April 28, 2010 at 7:35 pm #

    The problem is not the coach, it is a lack of depth. We have almost no depth whatsoever. Getting two very solid players via free agency will help this team reach the next level. Firing VDN, after making the playoffs 2 years in a row does not seem to make sense. Our team does have some good young talent now what the front office should be focused on is convincing 2 talented players that Chicago is the place for them not on firing VDN.

    Enigmatik April 28, 2010 at 8:19 pm #

    I agree that it’s more 2) than 1)…Vinny’s a good guy and the job he did was respectable with what he had, but he’s not going to bring a championship to Chicago. Noah said it best when he said that he didn’t want to be known as the team that plays tough in the first round but gets knocked out every year…1998 was a looooooong time ago and it’s time to update the hardware in the trophy case.

    Bobby April 28, 2010 at 8:45 pm #

    Even if you think Vinny was treated unfairly he still has to go. With an experienced coach, it gives us that much better of a chance to lure in Bosh or Wade or anybody else. Go get Byron Scott and let him tutor Derrick Rose like he did Chris Paul.

  9. cacahuate April 28, 2010 at 9:20 pm #

    what coach out there stands out as a clear-cut better option than bringing VDN back with a team that honestly respects and likes him?

    Avery Johnson: He totally lost that Mavs team after collapsing against the Heat in the finals.

    Doug Collins: I’ll always be intrigued by this option, he’s already been contacted by the Hornets and it seems as though he’s pretty content to stay in the booth.

    Jeff Van Gundy: Ummm, I guess this is alright considering he’s a proven coach in the league, but I think Derrick would feel chained down by Van Gundy’s inherent need to incessantly bitch non-stop about everything.

    Mark Jackson: At this point I don’t think many NBA teams believes in him as a viable coaching candidate and if the goal is to bring in an experienced guy than this isn’t a possibility at all and I probably wasted my time writing about him

    Who else is out there?

  10. cacahuate April 28, 2010 at 9:23 pm #

    oh forgot about Byron..

    richiexp April 28, 2010 at 9:37 pm #

    Look- The reason why Derrick loves Vinny is because he runs 6 plays of offense. Half of those plays involve a pick-and-pop or pick-and-roll. As a rookie PG, it’s difficult for Derrick to learn new plays and run an advanced offense. Rose NEEDs a more experienced, guard-oriented coach to teach him and understand the position.

    Vinny did a great job for the role that we needed him for; to build Rose to a certain capacity. But now that Rose is ready for the next level (and we are going to score a first-tier FA), we need a different coach.

    My rankings:
    1. Doc Rivers (if he’s done in Boston)
    2. Byron Scott
    3. Jeff Van Gundy
    4. Avery Johnson
    5. Cotton Fitzsimmons

  12. TexasBullsFan April 28, 2010 at 9:57 pm #

    To me, you don’t lose your job until you do something that warrants losing your job. Vinny has done everything he’s been asked to do, and done it pretty well. His team has never given up on him and he’s been a professional all this time. I say, hire him back.

  13. bob April 28, 2010 at 11:39 pm #

    VDN did a better job of coaching last year when he had Del Harris as an assistant coach. Bernie Bickerstaff never was impressive as a head coach. Why did they not bring back Del Harris? Was it his decision to leave?

  14. Dunc April 29, 2010 at 1:09 am #

    Vinny, Vinny, Vinny… Because he’s gone .500 in consecutive seasons is why people scratch their head. He set the tone to get the Bulls to the playoffs, which the players accepted. This tone is a kind of arrogance, same with “I’m not getting fired” in the face of rumors that he’s getting fired. “We’re making the playoffs” in the face of a 10 game losing streak. “Shock the world” in the face of the best team in the league.

    Look, he makes mistakes as a coach, but there is clearly something that makes him effective. What more do we ask from him? Better time-out calls? To just simply be better? I’ll tell you what I want, a season with way better than a .500 record.

    Do I think Vinny can give us that? The answer sadly is maybe. With something as promising as these new Bulls are, “maybe” really isn’t a risk worth taking, and I’m sure that is what John Paxson has to deal with coming up to this weekend.

    The fact that the players have his back isn’t something they will care too much about when the ‘perfect’ candidate presents himself and gives us well above .500.

    However, if there is no big Free Agent, as it looks like Dwayner, and possibly Joe Johnson (who might stay with Atlanta) are looking like pipe dreams. Whats the risk of keeping Vinny, waiting til after this 3rd season, keeping some of that money, seeing what the future brings, and have a shot at Carmelo at the 2?

    Lots of questions, interesting questions

    Jon C. April 29, 2010 at 1:10 am #

    I say you let Vinny run out his contract. Most people agree that he did an amazing job with the lack of depth and offense on this current team. I am intrigued to see what he could do next year with the free agents we get, because then he’ll finally be able to run complex offensive schemes because he will have the players to actually run them.

    Like it or not the current group of guys play hard for Del Negro and I say why risk that chemistry by bringing in a new coach. Just look at the Phoenix Suns and their experience with Terry Porter. Sometimes the right coach doesn’t have to be a big name, I mean look at what the former assistant coach Alvin Gentry and the impact he has had on the Suns this year. Everybody thought the Suns wouldn’t make the playoffs and they are the third seed in the West. Let Vinny stay at least one more year.

    Boppinbob April 29, 2010 at 4:33 am #

    VDN did keep the team playing hard all season. But he failed to develop his depth and basically went through the 1st round with an 8 man rotation. The lack of depth was glaring. I am not bothered by the “scuffle” between VDN and Pax. Both are competitors, and want to accomplish their goals. Their goals are not necessarily the same. VDN is season oriented and Pax is long term oriented. That will lead to confrontations. Jackson and Krause were known to have confrontations during the glory years (usually verbal sparing in the press). There was definitely no love lost there. Que sera sera.

  17. cliniclysick April 29, 2010 at 2:23 pm #

    With a small amount of better coaching, the Bulls would’ve won close to 50 games this season and would not have been out of the playoffs already. Unfortunately, VDN is not the man who can push this team to a higher level. He’s strategically inept and very limited offensively, he can’t develop players so he only uses 8 guys which comes back to bite you in the playoffs (for 2 years now) and fails to recognize favorable player matchups in-game. I can’t believe some of you would want to keep him… be content with another 35 to 45 win season if that happens.

  18. Phil April 29, 2010 at 2:25 pm #

    Personally I’d give Vinny a ‘B’ this season, with an ‘A’ for effort. Yeah he has his flaws, but he does the best with what he’s got, and has the Bulls playing hard and above expectations. Without Rose’s woes early on, and Noah’s injury/ten game losing streak late on, we could have been several games over .500, which I think would have been a pretty good record.

    However going forward I don’t see him as the coach who is gonna be able to coach a top tier FA and get the most out of them, Rose and the rest of the Bulls. Personally I’d like to see a experienced, play-off tested, winning coach. Out of those mentioned, JVG would head my list, then Doc, Byron, Avery.

  19. Ryan April 29, 2010 at 5:43 pm #

    I think Del Negro should get rewarded with finishing his contract, or at least up to the All-Star brak – that seems to be a prime coach-firing time if necessary. The Bulls were a .500 team with a .300 roster. He developed Derek and Joakim into legit players that make a great duo and Taj can be a starter for most NBA teams. JJ never came around, but has plenty of potential (a different potential than Tyrus). The group of players he had entering the Playoffs was extremely weak – Joe Alexander, Devon Brown, Rob Kurz, and Acie Law were spectators. James Johnson, Flip Murray, Pargo, Richard, and ‘Hawk’ provided little help besides cheerleading. This leaves 6 players that put in honest work.

    By the way, Hakim Warrick’s nickname of ‘Hawk’ warms my heart. One of my all-time favorite Chicago Cubs players was Andre Dawson a.k.a. the Hawk. I want to keep Warrick just for his nickname – hit jump shot isn’t too bad either.

  20. TexasBullsFan April 29, 2010 at 7:16 pm #

    He never developed his depth? What depth? Acie Law? Janerro Pargo? These guys aren’t depth, they’re expiring contracts. I mean really, did you see James Johnson trying to guard LeBron? It was sort of pitiful, like watching me guard someone half-way decent in a pick up game. When all you can do is flail as they run by, the coach nor the team is served by you being in the line-up.

    I love how no one gives Vinny any credit at all. He turned a team with nothing off the bench in to a play off contender, despite the fact that half or more of his starting line-up either missed time or played hurt.

    Dan April 29, 2010 at 7:45 pm #

    Cotton Fitzsimmons ????

    Enigmatik April 30, 2010 at 4:05 am #

    Vinny ran 5 plays on offense and still doesn’t know Kirk Hinrich’s name (Kurt).

    He’s got to go.

    Bobby April 30, 2010 at 6:57 am #

    “I love how no one gives Vinny any credit at all. He turned a team with nothing off the bench in to a play off contender”. I agree with you but honestly, look at the rosters in the east. The next three teams are toronto, indiana, and new york. Come to think of it the more I look at the teams below us and those just above us like charlotte, milwaukee, and miami, the more i think that we actually underachieved with this roster. I think that is 90% because of injuries but comparing our roster to the rest of the east we should be the fifth seed. I truly believe that noah and rose win almost every battle at their position in the east the one exception being dwight howard. Vinny got the team to play hard but I think it’s a stretch to say that he did an incredible job.

    I still say though that this year’s performance is irrelevant to whether or not Vinny should stay. I know it’s not fair but if we are attracting free agents do you think they we are helping ourselves at all by having Vinny Del Negro as coach? It might not hurt us much to keep him but I know we would be helping ourselves if we could say that we brought in an experienced coach. What free agent is going to pick Vinny Del Negro over Byron Scott, Jeff Van Gundy, or Doc Rivers? We should fire him evenif just for the slight edge we could get in attracting FAs.

    Bobby April 30, 2010 at 7:06 am #

    I heard Mike Woodson from ATL might be available next season. That might be interesting.

  25. Anonymous May 3, 2010 at 1:53 pm #

    man get rid of paxson(krause clone). 2 playoffs, noah rose, deng, gibson and add a proven threat on both sides of the floor eastern finals at worst. does PAX acually deserve his job anyway

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