Posted May 21, 2013

Clippers part ways with coach Vinny Del Negro

Ben Golliver, Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers, Vinny Del Negro
 Vinny Del Negro will not return as coach of the Los Angeles Clippers

The Clippers have reportedly dumped coach Vinny Del Negro. (Harry How/Getty Images)

The Clippers announced Tuesday that coach Vinny Del Negro, whose contract was set to expire, will not be retained after guiding his team to its winningest season in franchise history.

“We would like to thank Vinny for everything he did during his three years with the organization,” Clippers VP of basketball operations Gary Sacks said in a statement. “Vinny helped this team win a Pacific Division title and we greatly appreciate all that he and his staff helped us accomplish. This was a difficult decision, but we feel this is the best decision for our franchise moving forward.”

Yahoo! Sports, who first reported the news, noted that Del Negro will not return in 2013-14 because franchise point guard Chris Paul “wanted a different coach.” CBSSports.com reported that Paul was “not a fan” of Del Negro and that lack of support was “among the biggest reasons” the Clippers chose to move on.

L.A. claimed its first ever division title after winning 56 games this season, the most in a franchise history that dates back to 1970-71. However, the Clippers were eliminated by the Grizzlies in six games in their first-round Western Conference playoff series. That result represented a step back from their Western Conference semifinals appearance in 2012.

Del Negro, 46, holds a career coaching record of 210-184 (.533) in five seasons with the Bulls and Clippers. He was 128-102 (.557) in his three seasons in L.A.

Del Negro joins Jim Boylan (parted ways with Bucks), P.J. Carlesimo (parted ways with Nets), Mike Dunlap (fired by Bobcats), Lawrence Frank (fired by Pistons), Byron Scott (fired by Cavaliers) and Doug Collins (stepped down from Sixers) as coaches to lose their jobs since the end of the 2012-13 season. Interim coach Lindsey Hunter’s future with the Suns also remains up in the air.

The Point Forward recently ranked the most attractive head coaching openings in the NBA.

Yahoo! Sports reported that Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins, former Magic coach Stan Van Gundy and Warriors assistant coach Mike Malone could be candidates. The Los Angeles Times added Scott, Spurs assistant coach Mike Budenholzer, former Suns coach Alvin Gentry, Pacers assistant coach Brian Shaw and former Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy to the list of candidates. USA Today Sports reported that former Blazers coach Nate McMillan could also be in the mix and CBSSports.com reported that Paul is a “proponent” of Malone.

Sacks was promoted from assistant GM last summer after former GM Neil Olshey left to take a similar position with the Blazers. He finished second to Nuggets GM Masai Ujiri in this year’s Executive of the Year race.

Paul, 28, was selected to his sixth All-Star Game and to the All-Defensive First Team this season and posted averages of 16.9 points, 9.7 assists, 3.7 rebounds and 2.4 steals per game.

A second-round pick in the 1988 NBA draft, Del Negro spent a 12-year playing career with the Kings, Bucks, Warriors and Suns and holds career averages of 9.1 points and 3.2 assists per game.

12 comments
UpnineLee
UpnineLee

Sterling did not extend the contract before the end of the season. That diminished Coach's authority on the court.

Players need to look into themselves. DJ and Blake disappeared in playoffs this and last season. No perimeter defense. Coach wanted this, but players did not want to do it in practice (according to Radio commentator at KWFB), how are they going to do it in tough games?

Redwings1926
Redwings1926 like.author.displayName 1 Like

Hmm, let's see, have your best season ever, and fire your coach? It looks like they took a page out of the San Diego Chargers' book. 

phillymoose
phillymoose like.author.displayName 1 Like

just another anxious owner caving to a spoiled players selfish demands. welcome to moneyball.  

metalkiwis
metalkiwis

Worst, luckiest coach in the NBA. 

bjornbonn
bjornbonn like.author.displayName 1 Like

What the Clippers did wrong is evident in both Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan's lackluster shooting and defensive skills. Both players can jump through the roof and regularly create excitement for fans, but watch them shoot a fundamental jump shot or foul shot in a fairly high pressure situation and you will see it's evident they have neglected their shooting practice throughout their careers. Toss these guys in the list of modern day forwards/centers who can dunk and showboat (Dwight Howard, Andrew Bynum, Amare) but can't hit a Tim Duncan 12' footer to save their lives....the Roy Hibbert's and Daniel Galinarri's of the league aren't as exciting but have the fundamentals to lead their teams ...

PWINGS
PWINGS like.author.displayName 1 Like

"Yahoo! Sports, who first reported the news, noted that Del Negro will not return in 2013-14 because franchise point guard Chris Paul “wanted a different coach.” CBSSports.com reported that Paul was “not a fan” of Del Negro and that lack of support was “among the biggest reasons” the Clippers chose to move on."

Maybe Chris Paul should step up and become the Clippers' "player / coach". Bill Russell did it "back in the day" and led the Celtics to the NBA title. Chris can do that and more. (Of course, he'll need to have his contract re-done with a healthy raise and other perks like changing the team's name from the Clippers to the Pauls. Small price to pay for greatness in the player's mind!) In the meantime, someone should suggest to Chris that he's not Michael Jordan OR Magic Johnson. Just a thought!

splabman
splabman

@PWINGS Well put. & watch Chris Paul NEVER win a championship. Watch.

Jo
Jo

Jeff Van Gundy, time for you to get out of the booth and start coaching.

Bazelope
Bazelope

Railroaded by a fellow ACC'er.  Watch the Clippers fade in 2014.

DBLETAP
DBLETAP

Vinny also played in SA.

Holden
Holden

What one has to figure is, whatever the Clippers did/do is wrong. 

newshamg
newshamg like.author.displayName 1 Like

@Holden Usually the case but this time they have got it right.