[John Paxson’s Hand Prints, view large on black here]
Really? Vinny Del Negro? That’s the best coach the Bulls could get for coach number 17 in the franchise’s history?
Phil Jackson, Pat Riley, even Doc Rivers … they all had to start somewhere. The Bulls are hoping that Vinny Del Negro can start his coaching career and finish a Chicago rebuilding project that has hit a roadblock.
The team introduced their new coach on Wednesday. Del Negro had been the Phoenix Suns assistant general manager, but he has no coaching experience. He admitted that fact might be a challenge.
“I think that’s fair,” Del Negro said. “I haven’t coached before. … Winning builds confidence and there’s a young team here that needs a confidence boost, I think. I’m not a magician. I just can’t create things all of a sudden. It’s going to be a daily process. Those are fair questions, I don’t have a problem with that.”
The Bulls missed out on former Suns coach Mike D’Antoni, who chose the New York Knicks over Chicago, and Doug Collins, the ex-Bulls coach who threw his name into the ring and then pulled out.
Coming off the courtship of two experienced coaches, the hiring of someone who hasn’t roamed the sidelines has created a stir in Chicago, but general manager John Paxson isn’t concerned.
I’m glad the Bulls didn’t hire Larry Brown, glad they didn’t hire Rick Carlisle, glad that Doug Collins decided to stay a middle-of-the-road television analyst spouting platitudes and not become a middle-of-the-road coach screaming platitudes. Avery Johnson would have been an interesting choice, D’Antoni would have been amusing (regular season victories are fun to watch too), Flip Saunders and his face-grimace might have helped the Bulls to the playoffs, and even to the second round. There were others out there with coaching credits, Terry Porter seems like he knows some things of use, but Vinny Del Negro? Really? We’ll see. If the Bulls don’t win 45 games, I wouldn’t be surprised if John Paxson got the boot.