Bulls decline to address Del Negro's future By K.C. Johnson
On the same day Pacers president Larry Bird supported embattled coach
Jim O’Brien, Bulls management declined to address Vinny Del Negro’s
future as speculation continues to swirl.
That left Del Negro, who matches wits against O’Brien on Tuesday, to
fend for himself after an ESPN.com report claiming the Bulls contacted
Doug Collins recently about the coaching position.
"Oh yeah, absolutely," Del Negro said when asked if he felt he had management’s support. "I talk to them every day. But when you ask those questions, it’s easy for me to say that. Go ask those guys."
Through a team spokesman, general manager Gar Forman declined to address reporters.
"I know we’re on the same page," Del Negro said of management. "But when people are down, they’re going to jump on you. … I go on what the people I work with and the people that make those decisions tell me. They’ve been supportive."
Photo: Vinny Del Negro reportedly is on his way out as Bulls coach. (Nam Y. Huh/AP)
Nevertheless, the Tribune previously reported Del Negro isn’t expected to finish his three-year contract. There are no signs a coaching change is imminent.
The Tribune independently reported Collins won’t be taking over the Bulls imminently. The Tribune hasn’t confirmed whether ESPN.com’s report that the Bulls asked Collins to coach is accurate.
If so, that would represent a significant shift in organizational philosophy. In 2007, executive vice president of basketball operations John Paxson signed off on Collins’ hire, but chairman Jerry Reinsdorf and Collins mutually decided the fit wasn’t right.