It says something that Peter Vecsey opened the NBA’s All-Star weekend by “breaking the news” of John Paxson’s supposedly imminent resignation and yet the big news out of Chicago was Vinny Del Negro’s decision to bench Derrick Rose with 4.7 seconds left in a tie game with Miami the night before. And in case you’re wondering how that turned out: Thabo Sefolosha threw the inbounds pass into Dwyane Wade’s waiting hands, which eventually led to Shawn Marion’s game-winning dunk. I know: Fail.
But Vinny won’t back down from what could rightly be considererd a bone-headed, game-losing move. After all, he’s Italian! Said Del Negro: “I don’t really second-guess myself because it’s easy to be a Monday-morning quarterback. The play was open and we just didn’t execute the pass. I don’t think a guy needs to be playing 45 minutes in a game to make an inbounds pass. I have a lot of confidence in Thabo. If it works out, then there’s no question about it. I take full responsibility for all that stuff; that’s my job. I try not to second-guess myself. It doesn’t do any good, because there’s another game for us to worry about.”
I’m sorry, Vinny, but you got that one wrong. The correct answer was: “Yep, I screwed up. I will never again bench my star player in an end-of-game situation, particularly if we’re on offense, unless he was ravaged by grizzly bears during the timeout, or maybe injected with some lethal poison that would kill him without immediate treatment.” Nice try, though. Thanks for playing.