Though he’s been a dead man walking for months now, Del Negro’s inglorious run comes to an official end in Chicago today: “The Bulls have called an 11 a.m. Tuesday news conference, at which time sources said they will announce the dismissal of coach Vinny Del Negro with one season and roughly $2 million remaining on his guaranteed three-year contract. Del Negro was informed of his dismissal during a Monday night meeting with Gar Forman, sources said. Del Negro went 82-82 during the regular season and 4-8 during two trips to the postseason. During a late-season interview with the Tribune, Del Negro addressed the possibility of being fired with his typical directness and high-road manner. ‘I’ll leave with my head held high whether it’s this year or next year or in 10 years because I know how hard I worked,’ Del Negro said then. ‘I know how hard I’ve prepared. And I know how I’ve represented the organization.’ The Bulls will embark on their second coaching search in two years, targeting candidates with previous NBA head-coaching experience. Though the Bulls have contacted no candidates yet for interviews, sources indicated they have either performed background on or held internal discussions about at least Lawrence Frank, Kevin McHale, Mo Cheeks, Byron Scott, Dwane Casey and Eric Musselman. That list isn’t comprehensive, and Bulls management will embark on its exhaustive search mindful the one to land Del Negro took eight weeks.”
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