L.A. Clippers: Why Players Want Head Coach Vinny Del Negro Fired

Mick AkersAnalyst IMarch 22, 2012

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)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

After a hot start that deemed them L.A.'s new team, the recent woes of the L.A. Clippers have the players wanting head coach Vinny Del Negro fired, according to Chris Broussard of ESPN.com.

The Clippers started the delayed 2011-12 NBA season by jumping out to a record of 20-11 and first place in the Pacific Division, heading into All-Star break.

With forward Blake Griffin and center DeAndre Jordan joining forces with superstar point guard Chris Paul, the high-flying alley-oops that resulted in highlight play after highlight play quickly earned the Clippers the nickname "Lob City."

Since the All-Star break, though, the Clippers have looked like a whole different team and have struggled mightily.

The Clippers have a record of 6-9 since the All-Star break, losing four of their last six games and falling to second place in the Pacific Division behind the L.A. Lakers team that they were said to have overthrown earlier in the season.

They lost guard Chauncey Billups back in early February, but were able to ride out the rest of the first half of the season on momentum alone.

Now that everything isn't going so smoothly, Broussard has reported that Del Negro has lost control of the Clippers' locker room, which is a major reason the players are calling for his termination.

Broussard, citing a source familiar with the situation, said, "Vinny has lost the team. They don't want to play hard for him."

Once the players have turned on their coach, there is no going back.

The Clippers' brass would be wise to make a coaching change as quickly as possible, so the team can get it's once-promising season back on track and turn "Lost City" back into "Lob City."