HoopsHype Vinny Del Negro rumors

May 16, 2013 Updates

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. ESPN.com

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. ESPN.com

May 7, 2013 Updates

Coaching sources expect the Clippers to cut ties with Del Negro, and there is momentum from within the organization to make a change quickly. Two people familiar with the organization's dynamics caution that Del Negro has formed a strong bond with Sterling, but it is believed there is too much momentum in favor of making a change for their relationship to save Del Negro's job. CBSSports.com

Paul is expected to be consulted on the head coaching decision, but people familiar with his position say it is too strong to characterize the All-Star point guard as the final decision-maker in that regard. CBSSports.com

May 6, 2013 Updates

Sacks said there is no timetable for making a decision on Del Negro's future with the Clippers, who won 56 games this season before bowing out in six games in the playoff series against Memphis. "We'll sit down and talk with Vinny and I will go over some things for the future and discuss it with our owner (Donald Sterling) and see where we're at," Sacks said. "It's kind of early right now, we're still in the process of getting feedback from everybody and seeing how we came up short in the series. Los Angeles Daily News

May 5, 2013 Updates
May 4, 2013 Updates

Clippers sources insist no decision has been made on Del Negro yet and that this early playoff exit won't be the only basis upon which he's judged. The team won a franchise-record 56 games this season and Del Negro has always had a good relationship with the team's ownership. ESPN.com

The team is expected to take "about a week" to evaluate the season before making a decision on Del Negro, according to one source. Officially Del Negro's contract runs a few more months, and the Clippers have been known to take their time with such matters -- interim coach Kim Hughes famously worked several months after he was dismissed as interim head coach -- but "that's not going to happen this time," the source said. ESPN.com

As for Coach Vinny Del Negro, he said, "Absolutely," he would like to return, but team President Andy Roeser said not so fast. He said the team will "assess where we are going," but he also said he doesn't believe the decision on who coaches the Clippers should be left to Paul. Los Angeles Times

"We just lost the game. We're going to let the dust settle a little bit and then evaluate everything," a clearly disappointed Sacks told ESPNLosAngeles.com. "Our coaches and players did a good job this year. But right after the game, I can't really comment on it." "It" would be the future of head coach Vinny Del Negro, whose contract expires at the end of June. According to a source, the Clippers had preliminary discussions with Del Negro about an extension to his contract before the season, but tabled them indefinitely, effectively putting Del Negro in a make-good situation. "That's what it was last year, too," Del Negro said after the game. The Clippers had a team option on him after last season as well. "So I just go about my business. I think my staff has done a fantastic job. I give them a ton of credit. Players. You've got to deal with a lot of things when you're in this position, but I enjoy it. "It's something that I want to do, not something I have to do. I enjoy it, I enjoy the competition, I enjoy seeing guys develop and come together as a team. A lot of things are thrown at you, that's for sure, but I love the challenge of it." ESPN.com

A tantalizing candidate to be the Clippers' next head coach posited by one NBA executive if the team would like to maximize its chances of Chris Paul re-signing with the franchise: Chauncey Billups. I can't tell you if Billups is interested in retiring as a player at this point, or even if being a head coach is what he wants to do next, but he certainly knows the game well enough, has long held unusual authority among his peers on the court and in the locker room. Then there's this: no one is closer on that team than Paul and Billups. I also know that Paul's control of the franchise, by virtue of the fact the Clippers will do anything to keep him, is nearly absolute. As for the current head coach, Vinny Del Negro, the consensus around the NBA is that this first-round ouster is almost certain to cost him his job. There are plenty of contributing factors that led to their demise that Del Negro couldn't control -- Billups' Achilles tendon issues, Blake Griffin's high ankle sprain, to name two -- but owner Donald Sterling simply invested too much in this team to be out of the postseason already. If Del Negro stays, it's because Paul wants him to stay and I haven't heard from anyone that Paul is willing to go to bat for Del Negro in that way. I only hope that over the next few months Paul doesn't feign that he will have nothing to do with who gets the job next or del Negro not being retained. The only way that could be true is if he tells the Clippers definitively that he is not coming back; otherwise, they are assuredly going to be highly interested in who Paul thinks should run the team. Sulia

May 1, 2013 Updates

Mike Conley added 20 points for the Grizzlies, who will try to wrap it up Friday night at home. The Pacific Division champion Clippers, who won their last seven games of the regular season to clinch home-court advantage for the first two rounds, would force a deciding seventh game for Sunday back at Staples Center with a win in Memphis. "We're not going to lay down and we're never going to give up," coach Vinny Del Negro said. "We're going to play hard, play together and try to do what we can to make it work. We've got to regroup and see how healthy we can get between now and then." Chris Paul led Los Angeles with 35 points, tying a career playoff high. "We've got to be desperate. That's how it is," Paul said. "I've said the playoffs don't start 'til somebody loses at home, so I guess now they've started. We lost here at home. Now it's do or die in Memphis." ESPN.com

April 29, 2013 Updates

Vinny Del Negro: “I think it’s everyone’s personal decision. He’s been in the league a long time and that’s the way he wanted to handle it. But everyone’s personality and everyone’s situation is a little bit different, but if it makes him happy and it makes him comfortable then I applaud him for having the courage to come out the way he is." NBA.com

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