May 2, 2010, 12:44 PM EDT
The Bulls are going to fire head coach Vinny Del Negro, right? I mean, it’s been talked about for months. And there was actually a physical confrontation between Del Negro and VP Paxson. There’s no way he survives through Tuesday.
Sorry, been watching old mysteries all weekend.
The Chicago Daily Herald reports that a weekend meeting was completed between Bulls upper management and Del Negro, and there still exists a possibility that Del Negro will be retained. The reasons? Well, the results, quite honestly.
His many, many, many detractors point to in-game failures to adjust, a seeming lack of response from the club to his coaching, timeout management and rotation failures as reasons for his dismissal. And certainly, the appearance of a coach and general manager near fisticuffs can’t be good for PR.
But then there’s the results. Joakim Noah has become one of the best centers in the league under his watch. Derrick Rose has become a top flight point guard. The Bulls have made the playoffs each year, despite dramatic roster changes. And they remained competitive throughout both the regular and post season. Plus, he has public support from several players.
But as McGraw points out for the Herald, the biggest reason for Del Negro’s dismissal will be the attractiveness of the club to free agents. The Bulls want to lure one, if not two, max free agents, and to do so, they need to have an organization top to bottom that players want to be a part of. Relying on the market and history of the club along with the money isn’t enough, not in this summer’s market.
Del Negro is likely gone, but the fact that it’s a question does give pause to the automatic dismissal of Del Negro’s future job prospects.
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