CHARLOTTE, NC - FEBRUARY 11: Chris Paul #3 of the Los AAngeles Clippers and head coach Vinny Del Negro talk during their game against the Charlotte Bobcats at Time Warner Cable Arena on February 11, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Head coach Vinny Del Negro of the Los Angeles Clippers might be in deep trouble of keeping his job, particularly with the team struggling the way it is.
Vinny Del Negro had a rocky tenure with the Chicago Bulls before ultimately being dismissed, and now it seems as if the same thing is happening with the Los Angeles Clippers. LA has been slumping since the All-Star break, and it doesn't look the situation is improving anytime soon.
Bill Simmons of ESPN (best known as the Sports Guy, and a Clipper season ticket-holder who knows things) had this to say after yesterday's game.
Heard today that Vinny Del Negro is on super-thin, could-go-any-day ice. A blowout loss in OKC tonight won't exactly help.— Bill Simmons (@sportsguy33) March 22, 2012
Ominous, although hardly definitive. But the concerns appeared to crystallize this weekend. Chris Broussard of ESPN the Magazine filed this report.
With the Los Angeles Clippers in free fall, tensions are high in the club's locker room, most notably in the relationship between coach Vinny Del Negro and his players, according to several sources close to the situation.
"Vinny has lost the team," one source said. "They don't want to play hard for him."
With the Clippers having lost 11 of their past 18 games to turn this once-promising season into a mess, Del Negro's job security would certainly seem to be in jeopardy. As it is, Del Negro is in the final guaranteed season of his contract. The Clippers hold a team option for next season.
Del Negro has been often criticized for his game management and poor scheming, which has often cost LA basketball games they should have won. It's hard to see if Los Angeles would jettison their coach so soon to the end of the regular season, but the Clippers are not that far off from falling out of the top eight altogether. If Del Negro really is on the hot seat, a decision must be made promptly.
To discuss Del Negro on the hot seat with Clippers fans, check out Clips Nation.