Del Negro met with Bulls Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf on Sunday, but the
embattled coach's 11th-hour argument to keep his job won't change what
the Tribune has reported since December 2009:
Del Negro is
expected to be dismissed with one year and roughly $2 million remaining
on his guaranteed three-year contract. Barring a snag, the Bulls will
make this news official Tuesday.
We've known for a long time that Reinsdorf has to approve financial decisions when it comes to major contracts for free agents. He was also the primary force behind the Bulls picking Luol Deng over Ben Gordon since he took over those negotiations and handed out the contracts that made one guy stay and one guy leave.
Rumors persist that Reinsdorf was the key player in the Bulls deciding on Ben Wallace in part due to his close relationship with Wallace's agent.
Looking back, it was Reinsdorf who scared off Mike D'Antoni and Doug
Collins last go around, so he obviously has a large role in the hiring
of coaches as well.
That's not to say the front office disagreed with all or any of these moves. We really don't know, but it looks like he's also making the final coaching decision on Vinny Del Negro.
Is Reinsdorf pulling the strings on basically every major move leaving the GMs as glorified researchers or does he just get involved in negotiations due to his personal clout and do what management asks him to do?
Could his involvement in this decision mean that Paxson/Forman are on the way out since he's handling it personally? Clearly, the interview was a last chance for VDN to save his job while Paxson/Forman want him out.
I certainly don't recall stories of Reinsdorf interviewing Boylan, Skiles, Cartwright, or Floyd prior to deciding if they were going to be fired though I simply could be forgetting those stories.
His action in this case could signify typical involvement with the team he owns [or of the board he chairs anyway] which he has every right to do. People get amazingly upset in sports when the owner gets involved which might be the only business where this backwards thought is the case. I don't know if he's the best basketball decision maker, but he has ever right to make whatever decisions he wants to make.
Unless a change has been planned for quite some time, which is certainly possible given Paxson's thoughts on retiring last season, I don't think there a management change is coming.
The process of hiring such an important position simply takes time. In this critical summer, the Bulls need the front office clicking on all cylinders. It's going to be tough to make that happen when free agency is less than two months away, and the draft is even closer.
So it looks like everything will remain status quo, but it's interesting to see where the decisions are filtering through and to find out if this is a pattern or a one time thing. This could simply be a formality or it could signify the erosion of the Paxson/Forman powerbase.