Vinny Del Negro’s Scorchingly Hot Seat

by December 22, 2009

by Marcel Mutoni / @marcel_mutoni

The Bulls’ collapse last night was of historic proportions. Since these things began to be tracked, only the 1996 Denver Nuggets have lost a bigger lead (36 points over the Jazz), and ultimately the game.

Head coach Vinny Del Negro, who looked more and more despondent with each Sacramento basket in the fourth quarter, is somehow still gainfully employed by the Bulls this morning. But, for how much longer?

According to certain reports, Del Negro has until mid-January to prove why he should still be the team’s coach. After last night’s meltdown, however, that timeline could very well be moved up.

CBS Sports presents some options:

Why not the Bulls? Why not Paxson, who relinquished the day-to-day GM duties to Forman last summer? “I doubt it very much,” said a person familiar with the Bulls’ situation, citing how Paxson’s relationships with certain players are frayed. But at least he has relationships with certain players. How can Del Negro command respect in the huddle — and vice versa, frankly — after what happened to this team Monday night?

Another option that has been mentioned is Frank, who was fired by the Nets and, as such, would come cheap since he’s collecting $4 million of Bruce Ratner’s money for the rest of this season. But this is probably not the best situation for either one. Frank will be looking for a clean slate after starting the season 0-16. The Bulls will have a hard time getting a spark out of hiring a coach who hasn’t won a single game all season.

OK, so that’s not encouraging at all. Moving on…

It’s interesting to note, that the Bulls have previously fired two coaches on Christmas Eve. VDN might soon make it a trifecta.