Paxson tried to punch Vinny and more rumors

Per Rick Bucher on an ESPN podcast via realgm:

(from Bucher)
I’ve had multiple sources tell me this, John Paxson didn’t
just shove or whatever, he punched or tried to punch Vinny twice in
that altercation.

(from the poster)
He goes on to say that he thinks the Bulls have to clean out
the front office. Also that the Bulls players publicly backing Vinny
means that they’re taking his side and would rather have him than Pax
and the front office guys.

Mike McGraw chimes in that VDN decision will be need Monday or Tuesday:

As he meets with Bulls chairman Jerry
Reinsdorf this weekend, Vinny Del Negro can make a logical argument
that he deserves to finish out his contract and coach the team for one
more season. A decision on the coach’s future is expected to arrive
Monday or Tuesday.

The Bulls set a goal of getting better
defensively this season and delivered, finishing third in the league in
opponents’ field-goal percentage.

the organization, there is confidence that Paxson and Del Negro have
already moved past their spat. But perception will be important.
According to sources, the team is trying to keep an open mind, and
firing Del Negro is not written in stone. The final answer will be
announced soon.

I sort of agree with Bucher’s take on the subject that the players are backing Vinny rather than management, and at this point.   However the players were asked leading questions.  They’re not going to throw the present coach under the bus until after he’s gone, and even then, they’d probably only praise the new coach.

However, I do think the players probably side with Vinny on this issue and I think you need to shake things up management wise.   Maybe Gar Forman can stay, but I think John Paxson needs to go purely for the perception reason.  

I’ve always backed Paxson’s job performance, but this is starting to become a Krausian type of deal here.   Players in the NBA are hesitant about him as are the players on our own team.   That’s not going to fly going into this particular off-season which is so important.  

We’ll never know for sure, but there’s definitely a chance the media blow up of this spat will hurt our odds of landing a free agent, and that could be cleared up by letting Paxson go.

As for Vinny, I’ve said in other places I think he’s done a solid job.   I think he’ll be a good coach in the long run, and I’d be okay keeping him.   You do need to find out whether he’s going to hurt you in free agency though.   I wouldn’t be looking to let a player hire a coach (unless that player is LeBron, because quite frankly, I’d do anything to get LeBron in here), but if you find out our coach is hurting us then finding a new coach might be a better sell regardless of who it is.

It will be interesting to see how this all shakes out, but I predict VDN is gone while Paxson will stay.  I think if Paxson felt he was hurting the team he would step down regardless of what Reinsdorf wants, but so far there hasn’t been any media pressure to force the issue.


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  • Paxson only has a job because that lucky 1.7% chance turned our way and we drafted Rose. If not we'd all be calling for his head everytime Lamarcus Aldridge hit a jump shot while Tyrus still learns how to play basketball.

  • Interesting. You mention that Paxson would step down if he thought he was hurting the team regardless of what Reinsdorf wants. Well, if I'm not mistaken a season or two ago he DID try to step down but Reinsdorf talked him out of it. That's how we got Gar as "GM" and Pax as EVP of Basketball Operations (what does that even mean? isn't the whole organization a "basketball operation"?). I think some of the decisions he's made have been solid, but the conservatism of the Bulls organization as a whole has help the team back. It is time for Paxson to go and Vinny should be given the chance to manage a solid team but I doubt that would happen. Paxson is one of the architects of the 2010 FA Plan and Vinny is expendable.

  • Paxson gets all the blame for Tyrus but I think Skiles picked him to be honest. These kind of stories are going to keep popping up until something is done, so hopefully the bulls do something soon

  • In reply to Snypershawn:

    If Skiles picked Tyrus then it is Paxson's fault for allowing that to happen. Paxson was the GM. I'm sure Paxson loved Tyrus at the time too. I know I did.

    I think Paxson needs to go because he has failed to take steps to take this team to the next level. He had a golden opportunity with PJ Brown's expiring deal a few years back and instead he held on to him in order to advance an extra round in the playoffs. He overvalues the players on his team. Paxson is just overly conservative for my taste.

  • At this point, I sort of hope both Pax and VDN stay. I trust Pax's decisions more than most NBA execs, and VDN has done well enough to stay--and it's not like the candidates out there are all no brainers--there are a few who would no doubt be upgrades, and I'm certainly open to them, however. Nothing would shock me now. They both could be gone, one could be gone, or both could stay.

  • What if we kept Aldridge and won a few extra games decreasing the 1.7% chance to get Rose. Just saying.

  • In reply to Dileg:

    agreed, if you change anything before rose then you don't get rose. same deal with the pau for gordon/deng trade

  • In reply to Dileg:

    I firmly believe that VDN deserves the chance to at least finish his contract. Also that the instigator of the confrontation should be fired. But what if Paxson did instigate it? He should be fired, but how does that effect our free agency plan? Will it reflect poorly on our organization? Do we trust Gar to go forward with the plan on his own, or does he go too? If we have a new GM, who's level of familiarity with our organization isn't there, do we trust him to be making such a crucial decision as his first for us?

  • In reply to Dileg:

    why is this even a discussion. VDN cannot coach his way out of a paper bag.. If he didn't have D Rose his offense would be the worst in the league. I am not saying he had the best talent but please give me something out of a timeout that resembles a play. He can't manage the clock and his timeouts are questionable. He could not figure out how to maximize John Salmons or TT. Let's get Byron Scott here, someone who has won a ring, and showed he can coach appoint guards. I do agree though if we cannot get some help over the summer, Pax needs to go. We ha e 2 of the 3 pieces you need to win a championship. What superstar does not want to play with a great pg and a player like Noah who just wants to do the dirty work. Bring on Bosh at the max and the. Sign a sg who can hit the three.. How hard is to find the next Craig Hodges, Steve Kerr or John Paxon.. We are talking dime a dozen guys that can hit wide open jumpers. The master plan is there let's just get some execution!!!

  • In reply to Dileg:

    Sorry about the spelling and typing errors, learning to type on the Ipad

  • Come on man these guys have got to get this situation under control. How do they expect to bring in free agents with all of this mess going on. Is this ESPN'S way of keeping Chicago from signing a descent free agent so they can keep sucking up to LBJ. They know that the so called king is very close to being dethroned by a young team in the Bulls who is a leading scorer away from contending for the eastern conference for some years to come. I think Paxson needs to go cause he had a problem with Scott Skiles as well and fired him. And now he is up in Milwaukee pushing Atlanta to a seven series. It is time for a change cause to me he really hasn't done anything as far as getting good players in here. If Reinsdorf was any kind of good owner he would tell him that if he can't get any good free agents on this team then his services would no longer be required. But we all know that Reinsdorf is a bum of an owner so lets not look for that to happen. VDN deserves a chance to coach the Bulls with a better roster of talent cause this year was a joke with the injuries and management gutting the team so they could sign free agents this summer. That's why I said Reinsdorf should tell Paxson if he don't get some good players on the team this summer with him gutting the team the way he did then he would have to go. This is his mess and his future being with the team as GM depends on how he cleans this mess up.

  • I'm concerned how much VDN talks in an interview. If he is fired and finds a job fairly quickly, a june 30th interview telling all will do a lot of damage to the bulls. I don't think VDN will keep quiet if fired and replaced by a relatively low profile coach and us in line to getting a fa.

  • This is so Bulls. How long is this going to take? As long as last seasons coaching search? Quit with the dog and pony show and lets move on already. Everyone knows they're firing him. Stop messing around. He's not a good coach.

  • On the hand, Big Ben's previous team, the Pistons, did not want him back. Let's see if Pax and Gar can sign someone who is still wanted by his team. As far as I can tell for media reports, there is little chance that LeBron or Wade leave their current cities. Bosh might be the only top level guy who really wants to get out of Dodge and I think Toronto would like to bring him back as well.

  • I think that the bulls have no leverage to make such demands. If they don't pay, he seems to have a very good lawsuit as it was already speculated that he won't be fired for cause and will likely have another job by then. He has a fairly good resume now and shouldn't have too much trouble getting another job.

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