Found May 06, 2013 on
Fox Sports West:
PLAYA VISTA, Calif. Vinny Del Negros coaching future with the Clippers is unresolved, and it will probably stay that way for a while.
Del Negro and his coaching staff are making their case this week in exit interviews with management, but the organizational depression over the teams first-round playoff loss to the Memphis Grizzlies is still too fresh.
In the end, the Clippers six-game defeat is likely what will determine whether Del Negro receives a new contract or is let go. His original three-year deal ended this season.
Im proud of what weve done here, he said Monday. Obviously, no one is happy about not getting by the first round and having a longer playoff run, but sometimes those things happen. This isnt easy stuff. Everyone talks about it like it is, but it doesnt always work like that.
So far, Del Negro has yet to discuss a new contract with team president Andy Roeser, vice-president of basketball operations Gary Saks or team owner Donald Sterling, who will have final say. Del Negro can point to a franchise-record 56 wins and the teams first Pacific Division title, but failing to advance beyond the opening round was an unacceptable finish to a remarkable season.
Saks said theres no timetable for a decision regarding Del Negro and his staff but he said doing something sooner rather than later is the plan. That works for Del Negro, too.
Whether hes the right man going forward is essentially what they must figure out. The Clippers understand Del Negros coaching style, but his ability to take them to the next level is the question theyre trying to answer.
I dont think theres anything we necessarily need to know that we dont already know, Saks said, but I think its just getting together and seeing what vision we have together and where we are as an organization.
Del Negros return could well be in the hands of guard Chris Paul, who becomes an unrestricted free agent July 1 and whom Saks said was the teams No. 1 priority. If Paul makes his return contingent on a new coach, Del Negro is likely gone.
We do the (player) exit interviews for a reason, Saks said. We want feedback from our players to hear what theyre going to say, but whatever we do, were going to do as an organization. Of course youre going to listen to your star players, and youre going to listen to all your employees and all your players when you make these kinds of decisions, but I dont think thats unusual for a team to do that.
If nothing else, Del Negro understands that winning in the regular season is one thing, but winning in the playoffs is something else. The Clippers had the talent to win from October to April, but they couldnt make adjustments when they faced the Grizzlies, who were stronger and grittier in their best-of-seven series.
So for all their franchise firsts, the Clippers still failed.
The expectation is higher and the results need to be better, Del Negro said. As difficult as that is right now, Im actually proud of that because thats the direction I want the team to go. And thats the mindset I want the organization to have, and thats the mindset I want the players to have, thats its not good enough. We can do better. That hasnt always been the case.
BEST OF MAXIM
After exiting in the first round, the Clippers historic season turned into an incredibly disappointing one. While there are many reasons why the Clippers failed to reach the second round (including a power house Memphis team), the blame seems to be falling on their Head Coach Vinny Del Negro. I for one have never been a fan of Del Negro’s coaching style. I think his offense is...
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Photo by Brian Babineau/Getty Images
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