Posted May 16, 2013

Report: Clippers considering bringing back Vinny Del Negro

2013 NBA offseason, Los Angeles Clippers, Vinny Del Negro
Vinny Del Negro's contract with the Los Angeles Clippers expires on June 30

Vinny Del Negro’s contract with the Clippers expires on June 30. (Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

A new coach for the Clippers? Not so fast.

Considered a lock to be fired after the Clippers’ disappointing first-round exit, Vinny Del Negro might be brought be back by Clippers owner Donald Sterling, reports ESPN.com’s Ramona Shelburne and Marc Stein.

The Los Angeles Clippers, after following up the first division title in franchise history with a disappointing first-round playoff exit, have not ruled out bringing back coach Vinny Del Negro, according to sources close to the process.

Sources told ESPN.com that there is a level of interest within the organization to extend Del Negro’s contract despite the widespread assumption in league circles that the embattled coach would take the fall for the Clippers’ six-game exit to the Memphis Grizzlies in Round 1.

The final call ultimately rests with Clippers owner Donald Sterling — who is regarded as Del Negro’s biggest backer in the organization — but one source close to the process said Wednesday that team officials were still deliberating and that no decision has been made yet.

Under Del Negro, the Clippers finished 56-26, good for fourth in the West, and tallied a 17-game winning streak, the longest in franchise history. But questions surrounded Del Negro’s ability to lead a title-contending team. Blake Griffin criticized the coach for changing the defensive gameplan before every game, and many wondered whether maintaining the status quo at coach would preclude Chris Paul from re-signing this summer.

Nothing has been decided yet, but the ESPN.com report says that the longer this process takes, the more likely it is that Del Negro stays.

Sources stressed that Sterling could still wind up deciding to go another direction entering a critical summer for the team with Chris Paul bound for free agency July 1.

Early indications were that the Clippers would likely make a decision on Del Negro — whose contract expires June 30 — within a week or so of their Game 6 loss in Memphis on May 3. But the process has taken longer because Sterling generally prefers to take his time on major decisions.

The longer Sterling has taken to consider the situation, sources say, the more Del Negro’s chances of scoring another short-term contract have been boosted.

5 comments
Steve Moore
Steve Moore

Here's an suggestion: Chris Paul as Player/coach, all problems solved !! Your welcome.

Sportsfan18
Sportsfan18

I don't always think that the players should have such a strong voice in who their coach is, but in this instance, they need to check with Mr. Paul.  He is free to go anywhere this summer, play for anyone.  He is the top point guard in the NBA currently.  He is still young 27 or 28.  He may really like LA, what it has to offer etc... to remain there even if Del Negro is still the coach, but when one of the top performers in the entire league is free to go anywhere and your coach's contract happens to be up as well, you may as well check with him about it...

6marK6
6marK6

Del Negro is holding back a very talented team. I realize that Clippers management has made few good decisions in their lifetime, but getting a new coach would be wise. You can't tell me that Phil Jackson would not want this job!

BobBillis77
BobBillis77

@6marK6

Phil Jackson wants a front office job.  I do not think he would accept anything else.