May 3, 2010, 9:16 AM EDT
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?