Maybe I might be jumping the gun but I have noticed my feelings have changed over the past few weeks.
Has Vinny really done such a bad job?
Two years ago Paxson saw something in a guy who never coached before but played under Popivich during his time with the Spurs and spent time with the Suns while first choice Mike D'antoni was running the show. Vinny might not be the best coach in the league but you can't say he hasn't improved.
Back to back playoff appearances. Even with the lose of Ben Gordon in the offseason then the trade of Tyrus Thomas and John Salmons plus all the games missed by Noah, Rose, Deng and Hinrich and he some how went 41-41 this season.
Also shouldn't some credit be given to him for the improved play of Joakim Noah and maybe to a lesser degree Derrick Rose. Let's not forget the play of rookie Taj Gibson who was selected 26th overall and was named to the All-Rookie team this past week.
Could the Bulls have won 50 games if not for all the injuries? Imagine what he could do next season once they sign a big name free agent and maybe management standing behind him.
Last season Vinny seemed to not know how to handle his timeouts but he seemed to learn and it was not an issue this season. This year it seemed like he didn't know how to use his bench but let's be honest did he really have much of one.
From the outside and by that I mean the national media it seems odd that Vinny's job would even be on the line considering all he has done. But when you throw in what seems like a rocky relationship between Vinny and vice president John Paxson which by all accounts got physical towards the end of the season you could say their could be cause.
However history shows management and coaches don't have to get along. No one will tell you that Phil Jackson and Jerry Krause got along, hell Krause didn't get along with anyone except ownership.
Vinny might not be the coach who gets the Bulls back to winning titles but who is to say he isn't.
The players seem to be behind him. After the game 5 loss to the Cavs Derrick Rose said if he was asked he would vote yes to keep Vinny. "He still coached me. He let me make my mistakes. We watched film together every day. He taught me a lot of offense and defense, what I'm supposed to do. But the decision is not up to me. It's up to the front office, so I'm just going to let them deal with that."
Joakim Noah stands firmly behind Del Negro. "Yeah I endorse Vinny. He did a lot for me as a player. He gave me a chance to play." He continued "I think a lot of good things came from this season. We're a young team with a bright future. Hopefully we can sign somebody for a lot of money and they can come here and we can win a lot of basketball games and everyone can be happy."
Even superstar Lebron James thought the Bulls were a well coached team. "Vinny and that coaching staff had those guys ready," Lebron said. "They have a group of young talent that loves to play the game of basketball and they play hard. There was not one point where they kind of laid down. I'm not trying to make a pitch for Vinny because I know what's going on -- 'Is Vinny in or is Vinny out?' That's not my job, but this team that we played in this series played hard."
The NBA is a players league so wouldn't it be a good idea to keep your stars, Noah and Rose, happy.
Like I said Vinny might not be the answer but is there a coach out there who is. Is Jeff Van Gundy, Avery Johnson, Byron Scott, etc the answer?
Unless one of these star free agents have a coach in mind they would like to play for or Phil Jackson wants to come back to town would it really be such a bad thing to keep VDN one more year and see what he can do when he has a real team to coach.