Tuesday, May 11th, 2010 at 10:00 am  |  18 responses

Stan Van Gundy Disagrees With Del Negro’s Firing

Hey, look at that: SVG has another unfiltered opinion! Awesome. The Magic head coach tells ESPN that he’s not cool with the way the Bulls treated VDN, and their decision to part ways with him: “Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy does not believe the recently fired Del Negro was given the proper backing from the Bulls front office, and Stan doesn’t think Jeff will return to the coaching ranks next season for the Bulls or any other team. ‘I was shocked by the coaching change,’ Van Gundy said. ‘I thought Vinny did a great, great job developing the young guys, and I think it will be very hard for anyone to come in and do a better job than he did … ‘From midseason on, I don’t think Vinny got much support from their organization,’ Stan said. ‘I didn’t understand — you never know the inner-workings, and so maybe there was some stuff behind the scenes — but from a coaching perspective, Vinny did a very, very good job with that team. They gave up their two best wing scorers in [Ben] Gordon and [John] Salmons, and they were a great defensive team that struggled to score. I don’t think that’s shocking when you give up two guys like that. The front office makes the decision to make those trades [Gordon left via free agency], and then Vinny’s the scapegoat for it. [It's a] hard thing to understand.’ As for speculation that Jeff is a possible candidate for the Bulls opening, Stan was skeptical. ‘I don’t think he will coach again next season,’ he said. ‘I think there’s other priorities in his life. I’d be surprised, in fact, I’d be very, very, surprised if he were back coaching next year.”‘

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  • JoeMaMa

    Plus Deng was out, Noah was out, and Del Negro still managed to get them into the playoffs, all while every news source had a “Del Negro Watch”. I don’t think he’s the best coach around, but it’s true: he got hosed. And the shoving incident has got me thinking Paxson’s a real d-bag. He’ll have to save alot of kittens to get the public back on his side…I’m glad SVG speaks his mind and doesn’t hide behind bland phrases and “no comments”.

  • bingo

    @ JoeMaMa – all those things are true, and Vinny is still just a crappy coach. Seriously. I watched 60+ of the games this year, and his lack of control over an actual game is astounding. Plus, he gave Jannero Pargo consistent minuted. JANNERO PARGO. Yes, the VinnyWatch stuff made me sick, and Pax really does seem like an ass, and at the same time the Bulls franchise is assuredly better off without Vinny wasting time outs.

  • MikeC.

    The problem with firing Vinny and handling it all poorly, and in a very public manner, will turn off a lot of coaches. With how poorly this was handled, and the rumors of physical altercations, the Bulls could very well end up with a worse coach than Vinny. At least Vinny now has two years’ of head-coaching experience. The players all seemed to be behind Vinny. They played hard for him. Either that or they were afraid Noah would bite them if they didn’t play hard. My main beef with this is that Paxson is dumping the blame for everything on Vinny. Sure, the Bulls should have taken a step ahead this year and been in the mix for a higher seed. Injuries to the starters and a lack of perimeter shooting did them in mid-season. Whose fault is that? The coach’s? Nope. Building the team’s depth is the GM’s job. That falls on Paxson. I think Vinny did a great job with what he had to work with, considering the Bulls lack consistent outside shooting, and front-line depth. If the Bulls aren’t at least a 5 seed at Christmas, start the Pax-Watch.

  • Diesel

    Yeah anyone that says Vinny is a good coach doesn’t actually watch the Bulls. DRose and Joakim won those games inspite of vinny, not because of him. Vinny basically gave rose the ball and said – “go create”. I can’t remember the last time I saw the bulls run a set play or successfully execute an inbound play. He’s notoriously bad for time out management. A small thing that also bugged me is that he NEVER got T’d up protecting one of his players. I think he did once in his 2 year stint. DRose, for being a superstar, get’s no calls. And I think a big part of that is because Vinny was too cheap to get T’d up and fined for sticking up for his players. SVG needs to mind his own business and worry about his players hating him.

  • http://www.nba.com Micahel Scorn

    Just win the championship and you won’t get fired unless you are Phil Jackson coaching the Bulls.

  • Scottie Pimpin

    that front office owes its fans , and most impotantly its players (especially rose) to really make some moves……this scrappy bunch is morphing into a really good and dangerous squad……reinsdorf better pull some rabbits out his hat and keep this teams momentum going……cuz if there any player who wants to win a title very soon the bulls are one of those teams to go play for right now to do that……personally they should have given Del Negro REAL coaching assistants to help…he obviously did somethings right….

  • http://www.nba.com Micahel Scorn

    Well, the Bulls did fire Phil Jackson after he won only 6 titles in 8 years. Vinny didn’t do much better than that.

  • http://www.nba.com Micahel Scorn

    Phil jackson got fired by the Bulls right after he won the 6th championship.

  • Diesel

    Don’t get me wrong, Vinny has improved over his 2 years, but if the Bulls goal next year is to pick up one or two max contract players and seriously compete for a chmapionship, Vinny is not the coach for that. You need a playoff/championship proven coach. That being said, I agree, the bulls organization handled his firing about as bad as they possibly could. But ultimately I think if you offer a coach enough money and remind them that they’ll be coaching Drose, Noah, and possibly 1 or 2 max contract players, they’ll get over it quick.

  • Swiggs

    The situation was nasty, but the only positive thing I’ve heard from anyone about Vinny is “he did a great job developing the young talent.” Ok, maybe. But head coaches need a playbook. Head coaches need to have a gameplan. Head coaches need to be able to MAKE ADJUSTMENTS. I live in Chicago, and we are sick & tired of our team blowing 4th quarter leads. Is that all Vinny’s fault? Maybe not, but when you blow 35 point leads to sub-.500 teams (see Sacramento vs. Chicago) it is clear your coaching staff is not making the appropriate adjustments. I know that’s one instance, but there were many winnable games, that Vinny was just outcoached. Also, its no surprise that John Salmons played better under Skiles after the trade…13 ppg for Vinny, 24 ppg for Skiles. Hmmm, was he coached better? I would say so. I wish Vinny the best, but it’s not a secret that he wasn’t a good coach. He’s a great guy, with lots of friends and supporters, he’s just not a good coach. Period. The Bulls are past the developmental phase, now we need X’s & O’s.

  • MikeC.

    @Diesel – true. I forgot about the Bulls’ cap space this summer. I was looking at the current roster and wondering why a coach would come to Chi so they could coach first round losses every year and get in fights with their boss. The Bulls really need a Kyle Korver type of shooter to bring off the bench as well as an upgrade at the 2-spot and a younger big to keep Miller on the bench and keep Noah from having to guard 5′s.

  • Diesel

    @ Michael Scorn – Other than the owner himself, the entire organization has been turned over from the one that drove Mj, Scottie, and Phil out of town. Completely different group working here.

  • Diesel

    @Mike C – I’m with you on the outside shooter. We need someone to space the floor. That’s why I like Bosh on the Bulls because he’s a big that really plays 10 to 15 feet away from the basket and leave the lane open for DRose. Korver and House are 2 guys available this year I think. @swiggs – That’s why I like Lawrence Frank for the job. I feel like he’s a book worm that does nothing but study X’s and O’s.

  • Th3_R3al_Chris

    Waiting for Russ to chime in…

  • Diesel

    @The Real Chris – You’re gonna be waiting for 2007. Which is when Russ used to post.

  • JoeMaMa

    Paxson knew that Del NEgro had no experience. That he didn’t have a playbook. That he’d have growing pains. It’s what happens when you hire a coach with no previous experience. And now he’s being fired for the same reason? What?? They lost Gordon, traded Salmons, had injuries, and made the playoffs. I’m not going to trumpet VDN for coach of the year. But Paxson knew EXACTLY what he was getting when he hired him. Vinny put up with alot as a young coach. And I’ll listen to SVG and Barkley, and the Bulls players who wanted him back, before anyone else.

  • LA Huey

    Two guys. Six names. Hoarders.

  • D12FSU

    yes, the bulls handled it all wrong…but really he’s not an nba coach, so it was bound to happen