30 May 2012

Now why are the Clippers retaining Vinny Del Negro as head coach?

Vinny Del Negro will return as head coach of the Los Angeles Clippers next season. Yes, you read that correctly, Del Negro will still be running Flop Lob City for at least one more season. Now this is something that frankly, I do not get.
I have an honest question for whoever reads this post: does anybody actually think Del Negro is a good NBA coach? Anybody?


Now I understand that Del Negro in four years as an NBA coach has gotten teams to the playoffs three times, including the Clippers this season, which is an accomplishment in itself for the very sake that they still have that slimy owner guy. But this is a coach that has never coached a team that did not underperform. Those two Bulls teams barely got into the playoffs in what was a very top-heavy conference with absolutely mush at the bottom. He took two solid Bulls teams on paper, went .500 with both and lost in the first round. Now look at the Bulls, with essentially adding Carlos Boozer, are an elite squad under Tom Thibodeau. The Clippers had a great season per the standards set during Donald Sterling's ownership. But does anybody really think that Del Negro was the reason why this club had a great season? No, of course not, it was due to the brilliant trade for Chris Paul as well as a solid signing of Caron Butler. So the guy that should get, and has been getting, the credit, vice president of basketball operations Neil Olshey, has been working without a contract since August. The Los Angeles Clippers, everybody!

And you know what makes the decision to bring back Del Negro even more ridiculous is the fact that the coach himself pretty much admits he has to do a much better job.
"I have to get better at time management during practice and do different things to push guys' buttons a little bit. Obviously, I have to get better at in-game decisions, whether it be offensively or defensively."
Now the Clippers with the right coach, or even a decent coach, could be an elite team in the west. They have two legitimate stars, solid role players at center and small forward and were a healthy Chauncey Billups away from having a consistent threat from deep. I mean with a guy like Jerry Sloan on the market, who did wonders with strong point guard-power forward combos before in Utah, how can the Clippers just ignore a really good coach like him? Hell, Sloan is so desperate to coach he has shown interest in the Bobcats job. Yes, he wants to take over the team that just had the worst NBA season ever, one that has an owner that may be the all-time greatest but is horribly incompetent at running a team and has surrounded himself with cronies, and one that is seriously considering hiring Patrick Ewing as their head coach. I have a feeling that Sloan would work for free for the Clippers. Hell, there are a bunch of options on the market that may not be great coaches but still would be better options than Del Negro, who may not make through all of last season if the Clips sleepwalk at any point. The Los Angeles Clippers, everybody!

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