After three seasons with the Los Angeles Clippers, Vinny Del Negro will no longer serve as the team's head coach.
Del Negro led the team to a 56-26 record this season, although the squad lost in the first round of the playoffs to the Memphis Grizzlies in six games. Overall, he put together a 128-102 regular-season record in Los Angeles with a 6-11 mark in the postseason.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports first reported the news via Twitter:
I should clarify: Del Negro wasn't fired as coach. He was informed that he won't be offered a new contract to return. His deal has expired.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) May 21, 2013
Of course, he was not the last person to comment on the move. Plenty of experts and average fans have an opinion on the situation one way or another.
Kelly Dwyer of Yahoo! Sports was one of the first to poke fun at the coach's style:
Vinny Del Negro is all out of timeouts.— Kelly Dwyer (@KDonhoops) May 21, 2013
The parody account Not SportsCenter seems to think that a picture of a good coach can be better than a bad one in person:
BREAKING: #Clippers fire coach Vinny Del Negro, will replace him with a fathead of Phil Jackson. Instant upgrade.— NOT SportsCenter (@NOTSportsCenter) May 21, 2013
Chris Emma of Fox Sports compares the coach with another sports figure who is currently looking for a job:
Hard to fathom that Vinny Del Negro and Tim Tebow are both umemployed. This isn't the sports world I once knew and loved.— Chris Emma (@CEmmaFOX) May 21, 2013
It is simply not easy to keep a job as a basketball coach in Los Angeles, according to Doug Gottlieb of CBS Sports:
Maybe Del Negro should start coaching football instead.
Still, it was not always bad for the man in charge of the Clippers. Ethan J. Skolnick of the Palm Beach Post points out the fact that Del Negro did earn one first-place vote for Coach of the Year:
Whoever voted Vinny Del Negro for Coach of the Year must be enraged at the moment— Ethan J. Skolnick (@EthanJSkolnick) May 21, 2013
That voter does seem to be in the minority, though, when it comes to the coach's perceived success.
This has some people thinking that there are good times on the horizon. Josh Newman of SNY.tv believes that the Clippers are now a very attractive spot for a new coach:
Vinny Del not getting re-upped in Los Angeles means the Clippers have surpassed the Nets as the most attractive job out there.— Josh Newman (@Joshua_Newman) May 21, 2013
With so much talent on the squad, Los Angeles is likely to get whoever it wants as the next man in charge.
Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated speculated that Phil Jackson could be in play, although no contact has been made:
Clippers let go of Vinny Del Negro right when Phil Jackson begins his book tour. Phil told @dpshow that the Clips have not contacted him.— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) May 21, 2013
Ethan Strauss of ESPN comes up with another possibility for the next coach:
Wonder if Warriors lead assistant Mike Malone will replace Chris Paul's lead assistant, Vinny Del Negro.— Ethan Strauss (@SherwoodStrauss) May 21, 2013
The big question still is what this means for the future of Chris Paul. The point guard is a free agent this year, but the team wants to keep him around.
Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News seems to think the All-Star has a lot of say in the process:
So who is Chris Paul going to hire?— Stefan Bondy (@NYDNInterNets) May 21, 2013
Either way, it is mostly speculation at this point. We must all wait to see whether the next coach can take the Clippers further than Del Negro, and whether Del Negro can land with another organization in the near future.