Tag Archives: chicago bulls

Del Negro grateful for opportunity, proud of accomplishments

Moments after GM Gar Forman and EVP-Basketball Operations John Paxson met the media to officially announce that Vinny Del Negro had been relieved of his head coaching duties, Del Negro made the following statement outside the Berto Center:

“I want to say how grateful I am to Jerry Reinsdorf and the Chicago Bulls. They have a lot of great people in the organization. I’d be remiss not to say how grateful I am to the players, as hard as they worked and developed. I feel very strongly that the organization is in a much better place now than it was two years ago when I started. I’m proud of the things we accomplished as a team. I’m proud of the players; they put the work in and they have a bright future.

“I know how hard my assistant coaches worked to support me, to support the players and to develop the players. I think there were a lot of positives with the development of the young core of guys that you have here. I’m very happy, pleased and proud about that.

“Last is the fans. The United Center, playing in front of sellout crowds, number one in the league in attendance; they’ve always been very supportive and passionate about the Chicago Bulls and they should. There is a great history and tradition with the organization.

“And that’s it. I just want to come out and tell Jerry and the Bulls how grateful I am for the last few years. Now, you move forward and grow from experiences. I just want to say thank you to Jerry and the Bulls.”

Listen to Del Negro’s full statement (05.04.10):

Audio—General Manager Gar Forman announces the dismissal of Vinny Del Negro as head coach, talks about the organization’s coaching search, and how it might impact free agency this offseason (Parts I & II – 05.04.10):

EVP-Basketball Operations John Paxson apologizes for an incident between him and Vinny Del Negro on March 30 and discusses his role within the organization moving forward (05.04.10):

LeBron James is coming to Chicago

LeBron James is coming to Chicago, sources have assured me.
What? What’d ya say? Oh?
Sorry.
Sources have confirmed to me exclusively that LeBron James is coming to Chicago…
…Friday to play against the Bulls.
I knew it sounded too good, but I’m betting some internet service reads the first paragraph and we get a story out of it.
James and his Cleveland Cavaliers—as we used to hear about Michael Jordan and his Chicago Bulls—are in Chicago Friday to play the Bulls, or, at least, several of them.
Joakim Noah remains out with plantar fasciitis, so he’ll be in good position to review James’ dancing moves, which James practiced in a blowout win over the Bulls a few months back. Noah objected, James came over in sort of a menacing move, though it soon occurred to James while he was in his arena he was in the other team’s huddle, and someone might take a poke at him. Yes, even the Bulls. They seemed to be feeling feistier then.
Noah, though, is expected to return for limited minutes starting Saturday in Philadelphia.
Luol Deng, who defends James, or at least tries, as everyone does, also is out. He has a calf injury. Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro said before Friday’s game Deng’s injury has worsened, as an MRI showed, and Deng is out at least two more weeks. The probability now is Deng will be out the remainder of the season after having played in 62 games and averaged 18 points and 7.3 rebounds.
Derrick Rose also is out. He has a wrist injury from his latest collision with Dwight Howard. Rose remains possible for Saturday’s game in Philadelphia, but Del Negro said it won’t be known until game time whether Rose will play. 
The Bulls have fallen to the edge of the playoff race in the Eastern Conference, two and a half games behind Toronto with 15 games left and without the tiebreaker. They, thus, remain longshots to make the playoffs.
The Cavs look like the 1991 Bulls headed for their first NBA championship.
James is headed for another MVP award, the Cavs have the league’s best record and are playing great. James took a few games off to rest an ankle injury, and the Cavs beat the Spurs at home without James. They are playing faster with a smaller lineup of late, and James has been Jordanesque by cruising through the first half of games to let his teammates get going and then turning it on down the stretch to clinch wins, like he did in a showdown game against the Celtics last week.
And this week they can resign center Zydrunas Ilgauskas, who was traded to Washington in the Antawn Jamison deal and then bought out. Later, they’ll get back Shaquille O’Neal from a wrist injury and have a pair of seven footers ready for the slower pace of playoff basketball. They are the team to beat.
The Cavs lead the Bulls by 21 games in the Central Division, which the Cavs just clinched. Just in case you wondered.
But all you were really wondering, I know, was whether James would leave the Cavs as a free agent to sign with teams holding money under the salary cap, like the Bulls/Nets/Knicks/Clippers/Heat/Timberwolves….
OK, OK, you get the point.
This season, perhaps more than any season in NBA history, has been more about next season because of the massive potential free agency involving many of the game’s stars.
But James towers over all of them as he’s on the path—heresy, in Chicago, I know—to be considered the greatest player in NBA history. If he gets multiple championships, he will be able to make the case. He’s 26 years old working on his second MVP and second Finals appearance.
So what will he do?
James has pretty much left everyone guessing as he talked about free agency some when the season started, saw it was becoming annoying and then stopped cold and refused to entertain any questions since.
It hasn’t stopped everyone else from regular speculation.
Which is more fun than listening to his denials, anyway.
It’s all left Cavs management and fans with a season long tummy ache.
The Knicks have remained the big name because they have enough money under the salary cap now to sign two maximum money free agents, which means James could pair with someone like Dwyane Wade or Chris Bosh in the city with the World’s Smelliest and Dankest Arena, Madison Square Garden.
The Knicks have a few pieces to go along with that, though no big men. Though the notion is if you get James and Wade or Bosh, then top players will come for minimum salaries just to be part of something great. At least, that’s’ the Knicks’ story and they are sticking with it.
It seems doubtful anyone else has much chance to attract James.
The Nets’ ownership includes James’ friend Jay-Z, the husband of Beyonce, but they are headed to play in Newark, wherever that is, for the next two years while a new arena in built in Brooklyn. The Clippers pretty much dumped their entire management recently. This is what that means: We have talent and you, LeBron, can be coach and GM or hire your own.
There’s been some suggestion about twisting the Cavs arms into a sign and trade for Andrew Bynum so LeBron could join Kobe and Pau with the Lakers and at least we wouldn’t have to worry anymore about who would win each season.
The Bulls?
Oh, right. Rose and Deng and Noah and Kirk Hinrich, which seems the most solid group of players James could surround himself with an approximate a team.
Not that the Bulls wouldn’t love to have James and find a way for it to work. But James loves to have the ball in his hand, like Jordan did, and have guys play off him, especially in crucial times of the game. Can Rose become a stand still three point shooter? He’d have to start practicing.
Though it’s difficult to see how James could pass on the Cavs. They have a big guy in Anderson Varejao and could finesse Shaq back into the mix. They’ve now got an All Star in Jamison and some good role players who fit around James in Mo Williams, Anthony Parker and J.J. Hickson. James seems to love being around his teammates and his team.
The guy’s dancing during working hours. How badly can he be feeling?
And no player I ever have heard about anywhere is given more latitude by the franchise than James is by the Cavs. Heck, they built the practice facility near his home so he wouldn’t have to travel much.
So would you leave if you were him?
And if you do leave and the Cavs don’t do a sign and trade, which they likely wouldn’t so they could begin to invest in the free agent market, you’d have to accept a shorter term deal and lower annual increases, which would mean perhaps $30 million less in the length of the contract.
Which means everyone is hoping the Cavs stumble in the playoffs, maybe lose somewhere before the Finals. That thus makes LeBron mad and he imagines it will be better somewhere else. It happens.
You’ve got a great life, a great team, a great ownership willing to spend money well above the luxury tax and a community which worships and idolizes you. Is the grass really greener?
We know, like in Chicago, it’s brown now in Cleveland. Friday’s is the first of two visits this season for James to Chicago. If the Bulls were somehow able to sneak into the playoffs, they’d draw James and the Cavs in the first round. That would be great fun, if not a recipe for playoff success. But it’s also why missing the playoffs is such a potential setback. What if the Bulls could get to eight and beat the Cavs in the first round? I know. Big time fantasy. But it would be a heck of a selling point for free agency.
My guess is April 8 will be the final James visit to Chicago before James gets his first NBA championship and resigns with the Cavs and they run out of rose petals as James asks they be laid out for him forever wherever he walks.

Thunder’s Westbrook replaces Rose in Skills Challenge

The NBA announced on Saturday afternoon that Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook will replace injured Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose (bruised right hip) in the 2010 Taco Bell Skills Challenge, part of tonight’s NBA All-Star Saturday Night at American Airlines Center in Dallas.
Playing for the Sophomore Team in Friday’s T-Mobile Rookie Challenge & Jam, Westbrook scored a game-high 40 points. The Rookies defeated the Sophomores 140-128.
The Taco Bell Skills Challenge will be televised live nationally as part of the NBA All-Star Saturday Night, which will also feature the Sprite Slam Dunk, Foot Locker Three-Point Shootout, Haier Shooting Stars and NBA All-Star Jam Session presented by adidas. TNT and ESPN Radio’s national coverage will begin at 8 p.m. EST.

Thunder’s Westbrook replaces Rose in Skills Challenge

The NBA announced on Saturday afternoon that Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook will replace injured Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose (bruised right hip) in the 2010 Taco Bell Skills Challenge, part of tonight’s NBA All-Star Saturday Night at American Airlines Center in Dallas.
Playing for the Sophomore Team in Friday’s T-Mobile Rookie Challenge & Jam, Westbrook scored a game-high 40 points. The Rookies defeated the Sophomores 140-128.
The Taco Bell Skills Challenge will be televised live nationally as part of the NBA All-Star Saturday Night, which will also feature the Sprite Slam Dunk, Foot Locker Three-Point Shootout, Haier Shooting Stars and NBA All-Star Jam Session presented by adidas. TNT and ESPN Radio’s national coverage will begin at 8 p.m. EST.

Prognosis on Rose positive as All-Star guard heads to Dallas

The Bulls released the following statement regarding Derrick Rose’s injury sustained during Wednesday’s game versus the Orlando Magic on Thursday, Feb. 11 at 12:06 p.m. CT:
Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose left last night’s game versus the Orlando Magic with a bruised right hip at the 9:36 mark of the first quarter. Rose hit the floor following a foul by Orlando center Dwight Howard.
Rose underwent an MRI on his low back and right hip last night at the Rush University Medical Center. The results were consistent with the fall and showed no significant injury to the hip or low back. He will be re-examined in Dallas, Texas on Saturday by Bulls team physician Dr. Brian Cole of Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush.
“X-rays so far were negative,” Bulls Head Athletic Trainer Fred Tedeschi said after the game. “I won’t say we completely ruled out a fracture, but it looks unlikely at this point. If there’s not a great deal of inflammation, I think we can be optimistic. If there are some things going on we’ll have to deal with that.”
For more on Rose’s injury, read Sam Smith’s postgame analysis from Wednesday night.
For a full report and the latest on Bulls’ injuries, check out the AthletiCo Injury Report at Bulls.com.
Video: Bulls Head Coach Vinny Del Negro meets the media regarding Rose’s injury

Del Negro: ‘Minutes are up to players’

By Adam Fluck
Life was so good for the Chicago Bulls just one week ago.
Fresh of a successful Western Conference road trip in which the team won its last five games against opponents with a winning record—the first time that has ever been accomplished in NBA history—Chicago itself had climbed to one game above .500 at 23-22 and looked as if it might be poised to climb up the ranks of the Eastern Conference standings.
Three losses in three games, Joakim Noah being shut down temporarily due to a foot injury and one suspension later, the Bulls find themselves in dire need of a victory or two before the All-Star break.
On Saturday, the Bulls suspended Tyrus Thomas for one game for conduct detrimental to the team.  Thomas will serve his one-game suspension when the Bulls host the Miami Heat on Saturday.
Del Negro did not elaborate on the circumstances surrounding suspension, but called the situation “unfortunate” and added, “It’s an internal matter and Gar and myself will handle it.”
On the year, the Thomas has appeared in 25 games, starting three times, and averaged 8.5 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 1.68 bpg, 1.28 spg and 1.0 apg in 22.5 mpg.
“It’s a one-game suspension,” said Del Negro. “We’ll move forward and get Tyrus back here to practice with us on Monday and get ready for Indiana on Tuesday. It’s unfortunate timing in the short run, but no one player is bigger than the team and there is a responsibility to do things right.”
Upon Thomas’ return from injury on Dec. 26, it appeared as if the fourth-year forward would receive regular minutes and be an important key to the Bulls’ success. At times, he was, but as of late, his playing time had decreased and Friday’s loss in Atlanta marked the fifth consecutive game in which Thomas played 20 minutes or less.
“Minutes are up to players,” said Del Negro. “I’m going to play the guys that give us the best chance to win, that execute the game plan and play hard all the time, that get after it defensively and rebound. There is accountability in things and that doesn’t just go for Tyrus, it goes for all the players. Whatever players are going to give us an opportunity to be successful and play the right way are going to be out there the majority of the time. That’s just the way it is.”
When asked about his most recent individual conversations with Thomas, Del Negro characterized them as “fine.”
“I have an open door policy,” added Del Negro. “I’m available 24/7 for my players and that’s how I deal with it. If there are any issues, whether it is basketball or anything else, I’m there for the players, as is the organization. That’s the way we do business and that’s the way it works.”
Win or lose on Saturday, the beat goes on for the Bulls, who play at Indiana on Tuesday and return home to host the Magic on Wednesday.
With the exception of NBA All-Star Derrick Rose, set to take part in the Skills Challenge and the main event, and Taj Gibson, who will compete in the Rookie Challenge, the team will then get a much-needed break when All-Star festivities take place in Dallas Feb. 12-14.Audio—Bulls Head Coach Vinny Del Negro on the one-game suspension of Tyrus Thomas, Joakim Noah’s progress and defending Heat guard Dwyane Wade (02.06.10):

Del Negro: ‘Minutes are up to players’

By Adam Fluck
Life was so good for the Chicago Bulls just one week ago.
Fresh of a successful Western Conference road trip in which the team won its last five games against opponents with a winning record—the first time that has ever been accomplished in NBA history—Chicago itself had climbed to one game above .500 at 23-22 and looked as if it might be poised to climb up the ranks of the Eastern Conference standings.
Three losses in three games, Joakim Noah being shut down temporarily due to a foot injury and one suspension later, the Bulls find themselves in dire need of a victory or two before the All-Star break.
On Saturday, the Bulls suspended Tyrus Thomas for one game for conduct detrimental to the team.  Thomas will serve his one-game suspension when the Bulls host the Miami Heat on Saturday.
Del Negro did not elaborate on the circumstances surrounding suspension, but called the situation “unfortunate” and added, “It’s an internal matter and Gar and myself will handle it.”
On the year, the Thomas has appeared in 25 games, starting three times, and averaged 8.5 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 1.68 bpg, 1.28 spg and 1.0 apg in 22.5 mpg.
“It’s a one-game suspension,” said Del Negro. “We’ll move forward and get Tyrus back here to practice with us on Monday and get ready for Indiana on Tuesday. It’s unfortunate timing in the short run, but no one player is bigger than the team and there is a responsibility to do things right.”
Upon Thomas’ return from injury on Dec. 26, it appeared as if the fourth-year forward would receive regular minutes and be an important key to the Bulls’ success. At times, he was, but as of late, his playing time had decreased and Friday’s loss in Atlanta marked the fifth consecutive game in which Thomas played 20 minutes or less.
“Minutes are up to players,” said Del Negro. “I’m going to play the guys that give us the best chance to win, that execute the game plan and play hard all the time, that get after it defensively and rebound. There is accountability in things and that doesn’t just go for Tyrus, it goes for all the players. Whatever players are going to give us an opportunity to be successful and play the right way are going to be out there the majority of the time. That’s just the way it is.”
When asked about his most recent individual conversations with Thomas, Del Negro characterized them as “fine.”
“I have an open door policy,” added Del Negro. “I’m available 24/7 for my players and that’s how I deal with it. If there are any issues, whether it is basketball or anything else, I’m there for the players, as is the organization. That’s the way we do business and that’s the way it works.”
Win or lose on Saturday, the beat goes on for the Bulls, who play at Indiana on Tuesday and return home to host the Magic on Wednesday.
With the exception of NBA All-Star Derrick Rose, set to take part in the Skills Challenge and the main event, and Taj Gibson, who will compete in the Rookie Challenge, the team will then get a much-needed break when All-Star festivities take place in Dallas Feb. 12-14.Audio—Bulls Head Coach Vinny Del Negro on the one-game suspension of Tyrus Thomas, Joakim Noah’s progress and defending Heat guard Dwyane Wade (02.06.10):