Epic Choke: Chicago Bulls Blow 35-Point Lead To Sacramento Kings

Eric BallFeatured ColumnistDecember 22, 2009

MILWAUKEE - NOVEMBER 30: Luol Deng #9 of the Chicago Bulls is fouled as he moves between Andrew Bogut #6 and Carlos Delfino #10 of the Milwaukee Bucks at the Bradley Center on November 30, 2009 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 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 Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Goodbye Vinny Del Negro, your pink slip awaits.

In what is the biggest choke job in recent history, the Chicago Bulls let a 35 point lead go down the drain against a the third youngest team in the NBA—the Sacramento Kings—in a 102-98 back-breaker.

The Bulls led 79-44 with 8:50 left in the third quarter, and were still up 83-50 two minutes later, before the Kings went on their run. The Kings closed the third quarter on a 19-5 run and then took over in the fourth.

They outscored the Bulls 33-10 in the fourth led by the sensational rookie Tyreke Evans. He had 23 points to go along with eight rebounds. The Bulls had no answer as they could only watch in horror as the road team completely embarrassed the Bulls faithful. The Kings outscored the Bulls 58-19 to end the game. 58-19!!!

The Bulls sit at 10-16 and if Del Negro has a job this weekend I would be surprised. Duds like losing to the woeful Nets, getting blown out by the mediocre at best Raptors, and a 2-10 road record add up to a terrible start for a team that was expected to improve on last year's playoff appearance.

Instead they sit nine-and-a-half games back of the Cavs in the Central division and appear to be going no where.

Luol Deng is simply not a player to build a team around. Deng's injuries have kept him out of 72 games in the previous two seasons. He has been playing with a fractured left thumb that will take 6-8 weeks to heel, the Chicago Tribune reports. 

Second year guard Derrick Rose is averaging 17 points a game and 5.6 assists but has not made the Chris Paul like jump many experts predicted he would make this year.

And when a career bench player like John Salmons is third on the team in scoring and averaging 37 minutes a night, there is going to be trouble.

So maybe Del Negro doesn't have the best weapons at his disposal. But the lack of passion and energy has clearly been established. That falls on the coach. It appears that the players have tuned him out and wouldn't mind a new guy barking at them.

His name has already been mentioned as a possible candidate to be fired, and after a game like this, he should be.