Del Negro likely on way out
Although it’s not yet official, it’s clear Bulls management doesn’t want
Vinny Del Negro as the head coach of the team any longer. It’s only a
matter of when — not if — the change will be made.
The more intriguing question is, who will replace Del Negro? Do the
Bulls go with another young, inexperienced coach to bond with a young
roster, or do they look for a more veteran coach to bring some
experience to the bench?
Whichever direction management decides to go, the new coach will be under more pressure than most new coaches.
While Del Negro had his faults, nearly everyone — with the possible exception of Bulls management, that is — thinks he did a good job this season in getting the team to the playoffs despite a rash of injuries and other issues.
The new coach also will have to deal with the fact that Del Negro had a good relationship with all of the players, especially All-Star point guard Derrick Rose and center Joakim Noah. That’s not insignificant in the NBA.
The other issue for the Bulls is the list of candidates appears underwhelming at this point. Of the candidates with head-coaching experience available, the biggest names are Mike Dunleavy, Mike Fratello, Avery Johnson, Byron Scott and Jeff Van Gundy. Other names include Lawrence Frank, Kevin McHale and Sam Mitchell.
Van Gundy probably would be the best of the bunch, but he seems content in his job as an analyst on the lead NBA coverage crew on ABC/ESPN. Besides, he trashed Bulls executive vice president John Paxson during the broadcast of Game 1 of the playoff series against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Johnson, who led the Dallas Mavericks to the NBA Finals in 2006, didn’t seem to draw much interest from the Bulls during their coaching search two years ago. Scott had success record-wise with the New Jersey Nets and New Orleans Hornets, but there have been rumors that he’s not exactly the hardest worker. McHale, who briefly coached the Minnesota Timberwolves, doesn’t have a much better reputation