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Source: Del Negro out as Bulls coach

Posted on: May 3, 2010 6:43 pm
Edited on: May 3, 2010 9:18 pm
 
Vinny Del Negro finally has been fired as coach of the Bulls, putting a merciful end to his rocky two-year tenure, a source with knowledge of the decision confirmed to CBSSports.com.

The decision came Monday after a series of organizational meetings that culminated in a sitdown with Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf on Sunday and the final meeting Monday with GM Gar Forman. As print and broadcast reports trickled out Monday, Del Negro and his staff were hearing the news through the media before officially learning of the decision, which was delivered later in the evening, the person familiar with the situation said.

The Bulls have scheduled an 11 a.m. CT news conference Tuesday to announce Del Negro's firing.

Del Negro, who had one year and about $2 million left on his contract, leaves with two playoff appearances on his resume -- both first-round exits at the hands of East powers Boston and Cleveland. Although he reportedly made the case to Reinsdorf that he and his staff had played a prominent role in the development of young players such as blossoming All-Star Derrick Rose and 2009 first-round pick Taj Gibson, Del Negro could not overcome what some in the organization perceived as neglectful defensive coaching and personal clashes with team executive John Paxson.

Del Negro became embroiled in a physical confrontation with Paxson late in the season after the coach allegedly ignored an agreement among management and the medical staff to limit Joakim Noah's minutes. Noah, one of the Bulls' core players, was recovering from plantar fasciitis. After a game in which Del Negro exceeded Noah's minute limit, Noah missed the next 10 games -- all losses.

Sources said the confrontation with Paxson did not play a role in Del Negro's firing, partly because his dismissal may have been a foregone conclusion anyway. Also, according to a source familiar with the conflict, team management was concerned with the actions of both Del Negro and Paxson, with Reinsdorf apparently pleased with the way Del Negro handled himself in the crucible of pressure that followed. 

Del Negro wasn't the first person to draw the ire of Paxson, known for his raw emotions and temper. But once people close to the situation began hearing the word "insubordination" used to describe Del Negro's actions, the end game was clear.

The Bulls will now engage in a crucial search for Del Negro's replacement, given their stated intentions to be a major player in this summer's free agent market. The stakes were raised Monday when Heat president Pat Riley stated that he wouldn't rule out returning to coach the team if a prospective free agent asked him to. It is 2005 all over again in Miami, when Riley came down from the front office to replace then-coach Stan Van Gundy. With enough room to re-sign Dwyane Wade and add another max player and an $8-10 million player, Miami represents the Bulls chief competition in the chase for 2010 free agents.

After pushing the defending champion Celtics to a seven-game series in the 2009 first round, the Bulls fell in five games this year to Cleveland -- the team with the league's best player and best record. Del Negro's coaching methods and tactical decisions were often unpopular, but it is fair to note that he was left with only one player -- Rose -- who could create his own shot after the team lost Ben Gordon to the Pistons as a free agent last summer and traded John Salmons to the Bucks in February. The Salmons deal cleared enough cap space to add a max player to a core that includes Rose, Noah, Luol Deng and Kirk Hinrich -- but of course, that will do Del Negro no good.

The Bulls reportedly are eager to secure a replacement with previous head coaching experience and are expected to focus their search on Mavericks assistant Dwane Casey, former Nets coaches Byron Scott and Lawrence Frank, former Mavs coach Avery Johnson and former Bulls coach Doug Collins, who already has interviewed for the Sixers' opening. Broadcaster and former player Mark Jackson, who has drawn interest from the Clippers, Sixers, Hornets and Nets, would seem to be a long shot for the Chicago job given how Del Negro -- a former player with no head coaching experience -- didn't work out.
 

Comments

Since: Jul 27, 2008
Posted on: May 3, 2010 7:07 pm
 

Report: Del Negro out as Bulls coach

Making the playoffs in the East isn't exactly a challenge. The Bulls need a coach with more experience, this was Del Negro's first coaching job at any level, with so many young players Chicago needs a veteran coach with a proven track record. Del Negro was not a bad coach by any stretch, but he was routinely outclassed by better coaches. I think Doug Collins would make a perfect fit with the Bulls, all the pieces are there, if they can land Bosh in the summer and get a good veteran coach, they are a top 4 team in the East.



Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: May 3, 2010 7:07 pm
 

Report: Del Negro out as Bulls coach

Seriously?



Since: Feb 24, 2010
Posted on: May 3, 2010 7:00 pm
 

This move made no sense

Why would you fire a coach who made the playoffs in his first two years? This makes no sense whatsoever to me.


tipinmy40
Since: Apr 19, 2008
Posted on: May 3, 2010 6:56 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator



ESPN=PatsNYanks
Since: Aug 3, 2009
Posted on: May 3, 2010 6:56 pm
This comment has been removed.

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