The marriage between the no mind coach who had never held a clip board and the organization who has forgotten who they are is hopefully nearing its end. When Vinny Del Negro was hired as the new Bulls head coach last year, I was in shock. That shock followed 648 F-bombs and a cell phone breaking number of “they did what?” texts. The Chicago Bulls, owners of the 3rd most NBA Championships in the league’s history, had just hired a coach who had never coached a game before. EVER! What a joke. It remains a worse hire then the Tim Floyd debacle of ’99. At least “Pink “Floyd as Phil Jackson called him and had been a head coach before. I am dumbfounded to this day how one of the NBA’s most historic franchises could act so shortsighted. There is one person to blame for the hire that has stunted the development of the team’s only asset, Derrick Rose, and that’s “Chairman” Jerry Reinsdorf. You see, GM John Paxson had wanted to hire Mike D’Antoni to coach the Bulls(Could you imagine D Rose running D’Antoni’s offense right now?!). After the pat me on the back owner botched that up, Paxson settled on former Bulls coach Doug Collins. Collins is one of the very best basketball minds on the planet. Even though he is certifiably crazy, he made sense to help the would- be number one pick, Derrick Rose, develop into the player he should be. Once again, the owner ruined that idea. He said he didn’t want to have to fire Collins again because he was such good friends with the former number one pick from Illinois State. After the long and drawn out search concluded, they settled on Del Negro. Why? How? It still doesn’t make sense. Del Negro is the Terry Bevington of NBA coaches. His hiring makes the Khloe-Lamar marriage look like a good decision.
Whether it has been Vinny keeping D Rose on the bench for crucial end of game situations, to his one play offense(high screen and roll), to his love for drawing plays for Jannero Pargo, to dialing up a final shot for a cold Brad Miller who hadn’t played the whole 4th quarter, Vinny is in over his head. He has the look during games that a drugged up O.J. Simpson had during his murder trial. He isn’t qualified to coach my DePaul league intramural team let alone the Chicago Bulls. The Bulls get out- coached in pretty much every game they play, and in the NBA that’s saying something. Watching the Bulls lay the egg they did vs. a bad Raptors team at home on Saturday was one of those “the coach is about to be fired” kind of losses. They have injuries. I get that, but when a coach refuses to play the team’s first round pick(James Johnson) in favor of Lindsay Hunter and Jannero Pargo there is a problem. The Bulls continue to regress as a team with Vinny at the helm, and it will only get worse. They are about to enter the “let’s quit and get the coach fired” mode. I know it’s coming…I can feel it. They don’t have an identity. Last year, it was to try and out-score you. Now, it’s let’s try and defend because we cannot score. They have one player that is playing to his capabilities in Joakim Noah. Noah is an energy guy who is thriving because he out works most lazy NBA players on a nightly basis. Vinny has stunted the growth of certain players on this team, most noticeably his best one.
For the Bulls to ever be a good team again, Derrick Rose has to be the best player his talent will allow him to be. This will never happen with Vinny coaching him. That’s why Paxson’s idea of Doug Collins coaching Rose for 2 years was a solid one. I never thought I would say this, but Rose seems to have gotten worse from last year. How is that possible? I don’t want to hear about the ankle injury anymore. Rose has played better recently, but having a coach like Collins would have helped exponentially. Doug Collins and Michael Jordan may have clashed when Collins coached the Bulls from ’86-89, but Jordan respected him. He helped Scottie Pippen and Horace Grant become good players.Vinny Del Dumb-ass will never help Derrick Rose become a better player. Great players need coaching no matter how great they think they are. Why do you think LeBron James is constantly arguing with Mike Brown in Cleveland? It’s because LeBron knows he’s playing for a fool who is over matched. If the Bulls plan is to attract a major free agent next July, they better rid themselves of the Italian stiff. Not one of the major players next summer will want to play for him…and that’s a fact.
I don’t blame all the Bulls’ problems on Del Negro. He shouldn’t have been hired in the first place, but it’s easier to fire a coach then it is to trade 10 of your players away. The Bulls have been one of the worst teams in the league since the post lockout season of ’99, yet they are NUMBER ONE in league attendance. ONE! It’s time for the blowhard “Chairman” and the dynamic duo of John Paxson and Gar Foreman to find a coach who can get the most out of the franchise’s only asset, Derrick Rose.(I still believe Rose will be a top flight point guard) Until that happens, they will continue to stay in NBA hell with no way of getting out.