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What Was Pax Thinking?

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Jun 10, 2008 2:53PM

2008_06_vinny_del_negro.jpgVinny Del Negro? Really, Pax? You spent seven weeks searching and interviewing at least 13 candidates for the next coach of the Chicago Bulls and that's what you come up with? A guy with no prior coaching experience?

Expected to be introduced as the Bulls' new head coach later this week, Del Negro comes to Chicago via Phoenix, where he had served as assistant general manager under former Bull Steve Kerr. Kerr himself just hired a new head coach in recent days, selecting former Detroit assistant coach Terry Porter. So did Kerr miss an excellent coaching candidate right under his nose? Del Negro did have a chance to interview for the Phoenix opening, but failed to even crack Kerr's top four.

Having missed the boat on Mike D'Antoni and Doug Collins, we're not sure why Pax decided to browse exclusively in the bargain bin, interviewing the likes of Chuck Person and Dwane Casey before Del Negro interviewed and leapfrogged the competition. What happened to Avery Johnson? Why not wait to talk to Celtics assistant Tom Thibodeau?

We truly don't understand this choice. Given the players' transgressions last season after Scott Skiles was fired, the team seems to need somebody with a presence, someone to command respect and keep the guys in line. An experienced coach with a track record of success could do that. But a rookie coach? One without even any experience as an assistant? We have our doubts.

On the other hand, at least when Pax gets the heave ho for making this pick, he'll have already hired his own replacement.

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