Blog Entry

Sources: Bulls won't fire Del Negro 'for cause'

Posted on: April 29, 2010 10:29 pm

As Bulls management continues muddling through end-of-season evaluations with Vinny Del Negro’s status still unresolved, sources close to the process told that one aspect of the decision on the coach’s future has been decided: Del Negro won’t be needing a lawyer, because the team has decided not to dismiss him for cause over a late-season confrontation with executive John Paxson. 

The matter has gone all the way to the top of the organizational chain of command, with Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf weighing in with assurances to Del Negro that he will not be fired for cause, one of the people involved said. Reinsdorf is said to be pleased with the way Del Negro has handled the fallout from the incident, in which Paxson confronted the coach after he allegedly ignored a minute-limit on injured center Joakim Noah

A second source confirmed that the confrontation between Del Negro and Paxson would have no bearing on a potential coaching change, which would instead hinge on the idea that the team would have a better chance of improving with a new coach. 

Exit interviews and internal evaluations are expected to reach a climax next week, when Reinsdorf will weigh in on all aspects of the offseason plan. Del Negro, who has presided over two first-round exits in two years on the job, is said to be quietly pushing for a quick and graceful exit if the team decides to make a change. 

People close to the process are wondering how the fallout will affect the combatant who will be staying with the team – Paxson. Sources say the confrontation between Del Negro and Paxson did not mark the first time things got heated between them, a pattern that ultimately could begin to erode support for Paxson within the organization. Bulls officials are not publicly speculating on how Paxson’s status will be affected, saying only that the matter has been “handled internally.” 

Long-running friction between Del Negro and Paxson reached a tipping point after a Feb. 26 game against Portland in which Del Negro allegedly ignored an agreement among management and the medical staff to limit Noah’s minutes to the 15-18 range as he recovered from plantar fasciitis. Del Negro played Noah 27 minutes that night, and he missed the next 10 games – all losses. 

The situation became even more heated after Noah’s sixth game back against Phoenix on March 30. Del Negro again played Noah 27 minutes that night, another violation of the minute-limit. 

While animosity continues to fester from the incident, it is a stretch of labor law to say the least that the Bulls would be able to successfully fire Del Negro and withhold the money owed to him on the last year of his contract. So while a coaching change is fully expected, it won’t be as messy as Del Negro’s second year on the Bulls bench has been. 

If and when the Bulls make a change, it is anticipated that Dallas assistant Dwane Casey would receive serious consideration. Casey was a finalist for the job when Del Negro was hired and has more of a defensive background – an area that Del Negro didn’t develop as thoroughly as management had hoped when he was hired.

Since: Jun 4, 2008
Posted on: April 30, 2010 11:32 pm

Sources: Bulls won't fire Del Negro 'for cause'

KGB, I'll disagree. I think the team belongs to the leader of the team. Noah is the team's leader. He's the one who sacrifices himself to the media to take pressure off of guys like Deng and Rose. That's a leadership move right there. I'll use my Magic as an example. Dwight Howard is our superstar, but everyone that knows the team knows its Jameer Nelson's team and he's the leader/heart-soul.

Since: Sep 28, 2008
Posted on: April 29, 2010 11:24 pm

Sources: Bulls won't fire Del Negro 'for cause'

I disagree. It's definitely D. Rose's team (he's the All-Star and the team's leading scorer). Noah is the HEART of this team, which Del Negro has let him develop into.

Since: Sep 28, 2008
Posted on: April 29, 2010 11:19 pm

Sources: Bulls won't fire Del Negro 'for cause'

It's a risk. If they fire Del Negro & then don't land a big free-agent, they'll have gone backwards. On the other hand, if you keep Del Negro & build on that trust he seems to have with the players CURRENTLY on the roster good(better) things could happen. I've heard that the team HAS to ged rid of Paxson or Del Negro. Paxson made his mark in the GM office both good (drafting D. Rose) and bad (letting Gordon go & giving Deng that huge contract). Why not fire Paxson(as a hard-core Bulls fan it hurts to say it), and make a push for an Assistant Coach that specializes in defense (i.e. Dwane Casey). It's more realistic than firing the coach that these young players have grown with & then going into next year with a new coach & a new big free-agent (which will not work). I hope they keep him, he's made D. Rose into an All-Star & Noah into a rebounding MACHINE.

Since: Jun 4, 2008
Posted on: April 29, 2010 11:07 pm

Sources: Bulls won't fire Del Negro 'for cause'

Skiles was fired because he told Joakim Noah to conform and not call out his teammates for playing without effort. Look, 3 years later and although DROSE is the star, it's Noah's team.

Since: Mar 10, 2007
Posted on: April 29, 2010 11:03 pm

Sources: Bulls won't fire Del Negro 'for cause'

I think Del Negro deserves a shot at coaching for one more year.  He will add a superstar or two to the mix and some role players.  If he doesn't get out of the first round next year then you can rightly fire him. 

Since: May 7, 2008
Posted on: April 29, 2010 10:59 pm

Sources: Bulls won't fire Del Negro 'for cause'

I almost expect the Bulls to do something dumb like fire Vinny.  They let go of Skiles for no reason and look what he's doing in Milwaukee.  Paxon/Forman a just a slight step above post-Jordan Krause.  So many moves have messed this team up and I only hope they can make up for it in the 2010 offseason.  The Aldridge trade was the worst move by far followed by the Deng signing.  If they didn't have Deng, they might've kept Salmons, who is much better. 

The Bulls have done great under Vinny considering the talent level and injuries.  I look forward to them building with Rose and Joakim along with a top flight free agent in the 2010 market.  Go Vinny!

Since: Oct 23, 2006
Posted on: April 29, 2010 10:58 pm

Sources: Bulls won't fire Del Negro 'for cause'

(complete sarcasm)
Yeah.  The Bulls should keep Del Negro and aspire to be a 45 win team next season.  They might even wind 2 or 3 games in the first round of playoffs. They should aspire to the mediocrity that Vinny can bring.  I say "Let's bring him back! He's just the kind of coach that will draw the top free agents that will be available!"

(back to reality)
What are you smoking BucFan?

Since: Aug 2, 2007
Posted on: April 29, 2010 10:53 pm

Sources: Bulls won't fire Del Negro 'for cause'

I agree man, nothing more to say to that.

What could a different coach have done the last two years?  Does anyone think that with a different coach things would have went a different way?  Derrick Rose developed a decent mid range game BECAUSE of Vinny and Joakim Noah has made strides.

Since: Jun 4, 2008
Posted on: April 29, 2010 10:32 pm

Sources: Bulls won't fire Del Negro 'for cause'

Del Negro took a team with Rose, Noah, and basically nothing else into a playoff team in a year DECIMATED with injuries. He's done a good job and Joakim has improved so much under him. It'd be a dumb move to dump him.

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