A bonanza of Bulls coaching search tidbits guest staring Doug Collins


The decision to fire head coach Vinny Del Negro has already been made, according to sources with knowledge of the Chicago Bulls' thinking. The fact that the Bulls' front office has not been able to settle on a replacement is the main thing keeping the embattled Del Negro employed, the sources said.

There were discussions recently within the organization about having John Paxson, Chicago's executive vice president of basketball operations, take over the team, but Paxson ultimately decided against it. Then, according to sources, Chicago contacted former Bulls coach Doug Collins, a candidate for the job two years ago when Del Negro was hired, but Collins was not interested in coaching the club.

The Bulls would prefer not to promote an assistant coach, either Bernie Bickerstaff or Pete Myers, to interim status, but if they can't settle on a permanent replacement for Del Negro, they may have to go that route.

A strong run by the Bulls, who beat New Orleans Saturday night after the return of Tyrus Thomas from a broken arm, could delay Del Negro's eventu

Well this is several interesting nuggets all rolled into one article:

1: VDN is gone unless he miraculously proves his worth while management is searching for a replacement.
2: They want a permanent coach in place prior to 2010 FA
3: They aren't promoting an assistant to the permanent spot [but may do the interim thing if a permanent guy can't be found].
5: They can't agree on who that permanent coach should be.
6: It won't be John Paxson.

I hope it's not Doug Collins unless Doug Collins has changed a lot.   Throw out his Washington years where he was basically the mouthpiece coach for Michael Jordan, and you're still left with one of the slowest paced, most controlling coaches ever.   

Does that seem, even remotely, like what you think the Bulls need?   Maybe Collins has mellowed over time, or maybe he'd force the pace with this team.   Some coaches are adaptable, and some force players to adapt to their system.   To be honest, I don't think either style is incorrect, but I think Collins is in the latter group, and I don't think our players would adapt well to a slow paced micro-managed offense. 

It'd be interesting to see what type of effect Collins had on FA though, since he may be quite chummy with a bunch of star players from his broadcasting days.   They might envision him being a good guy to play for whether that's actually true or not.

We'll see if anything comes out of this, but I'm personally hoping Doug stays in the booth. 


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  • I agree, I don't want Collins anywhere near this team. I don't think he'll be foolish enough to take the job anyway. No respectable coach is going to coach this Bulls team just to eat loss' for the reminder of the season. They will just wait until the off season, sign with the team before the draft, and go into next season with a full training camp and maybe a prize free agent.

    The only options management have is to fire Vinny and hire in house, or to just let VDN coach the reminder of the season. At this point, I think they should just let him coach the team into another first round exit, and then hand him a big fat pink slip.

  • When management is going to deny or confirm this information? Whatever respect the players have for Vinny (as a coach) is gone. The only thing that I believe is 100% true is that Paxson is unwilling to take over of this mess, the one he created. He is a Nancy.

  • We need to find Byron Scotts e-mail, telephone number, address or something cause this guy needs to coach the Bulls.

  • Doug, do you have an email address i could contact you on? Joshua from the Charlotte Banner Herald.

  • Aaaa-ver-y John-son....

  • In reply to evilhoban:

    this is my choice. least above any of the suggested options (collins, scott, frank, interims..)

  • In reply to evilhoban:

    Just fire him, what is the point of keeping him until you find a permanant coach? I'm no fan of Del Negro, but this organization has treated him like chit.

  • In reply to evilhoban:

    If Paxson doesn't want the job, then I still like Maurice Cheeks as VDN's replacement.

    He led Portland to the playoffs twice and Philly to the playoffs once. He could have done better, but his teams were riddled with injuries and attitudes.

    Portland was without Rasheed Wallace, Bonzi Wells and Sharif Abdul-Rahim for most of his 3rd season there. They still finished 41-41. In his 3rd season in Philly, he was without A.I. and Webber for most of the season. As I recall, both those guys played less than 20 games that year. He still coached that team to a 37-45 record, which is not bad when he didn't have his two best players.

    I like the guy. He runs an up-tempo offense and a pretty stingy defense. He has coaching and playing experience in the NBA. Plus, as a former Chicago native, All-Star PG and NBA champion I think he could really help Derrick Rose develop.

    Why not Mo Cheeks?

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Because the Bulls don't want him

  • Now is Del Negro contract 4 million guaranteed with team option or is it 6 million guaranteed. I've heard it about 50/50 when I've seen reports

  • To each his own I guess. If I was getting paid handsomely to be treated that poorly, I would not be happy.

  • Ken Berger just said that he wasn't guaranteed next year

  • In reply to Dpauley23:

    Berger is wrong. Last year Chairman Jerry (when he had his famous rant) confirmed that VDN had a three year contract. That doesnt mean year 3 is fully guaranteed - but ther almost certainly is a partial guarantee.

  • In reply to Dpauley23:

    Whenever there is an opening, the press considers every coach who is not employed as being a possible replacement.

    In the last 20 years or som Chairman Jerry has hired only one coach with NBA expoerience - that was Skiles and he was willing to work very cheap (#1 on JR's list of qualifications)

    His other hires were all without NBA experience at the time: Collins, Phil Jackson, Tim Floyd, Bill Cartwright, Jim Boylan & Vinny.

    If JR does hire a vet, it will be a guy who is not being paid right now & who is willing to work cheap. It's just the Reinsdorf way.....

  • I would love to have chicago's own Mo Cheeks here. as noted above the teams from which he has been let go (fired) had other issues. There is no question he is a fine teacher of the game and knopws the point guard position. He would be my top choice.

  • In reply to drob:

    Thank you for the backing. Mo Cheeks would be a good call.

  • In reply to drob:

    I do feel bad for Vinny because ownership and management gave him a roster full of bench players and set him up for the fall.

  • In reply to drob:

    also Maurice Cheeks will wait it out in Oklahoma. He will wait for Brooks to falter and than take over and coach that young core.


    It's in the 7th paragraph

  • He could have 3 year contract, but what I heard was the 3rd year was a team option

  • If they fire Vinnie, Shame on Them

    We knew Vinnie had never coached, and still the Bulls hired him.

    Realizing the Bulls had just drafted (miraculously) Derrick Rose, the Bulls still chose a rookie coach.

    What we will never know is the "opportunity cost" of having Vinnie badly coach Derrick Rose for 1 1/3 seasons. How good could Derrick be at this point if he actually had a good coach, instead of Vinnie.

    I don't blame Vinnie, I blame Paxson and Reinsdorf.

    In business, we often hear the phrase "best practice". Using Vinnie to lay down a shaky foundation for Derrick Rose's future is a Chicago Bulls "worst practice".

  • In reply to rkraneis:

    If the Bulls' management is focussed on the development of Derrick Rose, then who would be the best choice?

    A.) Mo Cheeks
    B.) Byron Scott
    C.) Avery Johnson
    D.) Doug Collins
    E.) other

    All those guys played, coached and won in the NBA. It comes down to leadership style. Mo Cheeks and Doug Collins seem to be more relaxed in style, while Byron Scott and Avery Johnson seem to be more uptight in theirs.

    The Bulls have been down that uptight Scott Skiles road before. It didn't work. So, if Doug Collins doesn't want the gig, then Mo Cheeks seems like a perfect fit. He's a likable player's coach, who knows the game of basketball.

    I say go after him.

  • In reply to rkraneis:

    In his 3rd season with the Blazers, Mo Cheeks had to juggle a 24-man roster because of injuries and attitudes.

    It's pretty impressive to come up with a 41-41 record. He never should have been fired there. He would be a great coach for the Chicago Bulls. As far as I know, there aren't any malcontents on this team, like Mo Cheeks had in Portland and Philly.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Who could forget the JAIL BLAZERS?,28804,1876540_1876541_1876487,00.html

    Was that Mo Cheeks' fault? I don't think so.

  • I know Doug Collins was a wreck at times, but he didn't seem like much of a dictator. Byron Scott and Avery Johnson seem to be that way.

    As far as I remember, players liked playing and practicing for Collins and Cheeks. I don't know if that was the case for Scott or Johnson.

  • How can we sell John Paxson and Jerry Reinsdorf on him?

  • If you could get the defensive coach Jeff Van Gundy along with the player development/understanding their roles he would provide, but add an offensively talented assistant to take that burden off of Jeff he might actually enjoy coaching, and be an enjoyable guy to be around/coached by. A Rivers/Thibedau, but in reverse. That to me would be the best fit right now for this team. Of course it will never happen. If the Bulls hired Jeff or Byron Scott I swear I'd bite the head off a live chicken or Chuck Swirsky as they are interchangeable.

  • In reply to SamS:

    Could Jeff Van Gundy help the young Bulls, especially Derrick Rose, develop? I have my doubts. PASS.

  • In reply to SamS:

    How did Cheeks do with a young Philly team? Not so well correct? As for Van Gundy he seems like a guy who will only leave his gig to coach for the right team with the right parts.

  • In reply to Newskoolbulls:

    i wouldnt want van gundy at all..he's to slow paced of a coach..thats the reason they brought adelman they could speed up the tempo...another eliminating choice would be mo cheeks..i wouldnt want a guy who is just solid..i know he's decent but i rather have sam mitchell over him..but the Top candidate should only be byron..he's had top success as a point guard driven i said he only coached 3 different point guards and they was all stars..he lost his job because he had problems with guys who have big egos..baron davis and jason kidd. new orleans was a team who couldnt spend and couldnt attract..david west is almost 30 and peja and devin are extremly inconsistent..posey is old too and doesnt bring any offense and there bench was relyin on bums like wright and mike james to save their season..chris had to do everything..he lost his job again but it wasnt even close to being his fault..because look at his former team now..they still have no help,bench,or talent..

  • In reply to Yunqn:

    baron,kidd and paul had their best seasons under scott which is too much to say its ironic..he went to the finals and lost to mini dynastys against l.a and san antonio who became powerhouses in this era.. nobody ever thought chris paul would be this good..period..he was viewed as a above average point who was undersized and no jumpshot..jason kidds best days came in when scott was his head coached..kidd has yet to see what the second round looks like without him..and baron has dropped dramatically since his name was building and was highly touted coming out of's just a guy who doesnt even wanna play anymore and only had one season away from byron under nelly in which he made it to the playoffs once..paul wont ever make it back,unless he leaves new orleans..they never had a talented swingman or a big who were long term fits with paul..byrons track record is amazing..there is no denying it..yeah he had problems like i said but look at the players it was with..davis and kidd too highly big ego wasnt with paul or any body else..derrick just wants to be great..just like isnt about individual stats with derrick just like paul..its about wins..another note..byron with derrick would mean he rebounds more and score and assist more..paul,kidd and baron had their best with byron..

  • Doug you are 110% right, change the coach now for next year!

    However, Phil Jackson could not turn this group of Laff-A-Bulls around. The grossly over rated Hinrich the circle dribbler, the fragile Deng and the weakling No-Shot Noah are the "core" of the problem. Based of raw talent, Rose and Thomas have upside after these two, the cupboard is bare! The clueless trainee Paxson is the real problem.

    The only way to fix this joke of a team is to fire Paxson immediately and begin the rebuilding!

  • Happy New Year Doug!

    Paxson has a good basketball mind?? Paxson has created the Laff-A-Bulls. Paxson is inept and should be fired ASAP!

    The New Year is approaching, stop the Bull's PR!

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