Monday, May 10, 2010

Click-a-Bull (Coaching edition: JVG; Calipari; McHale; + JJ/Bosh)

The Bulls are being rather patient in getting their coaching search underway ... which I don't think is the best plan. But part of me thinks that they really like Tom Thibodeau (Boston assistant/defensive genius), so they are holding off on interviews to give him one of the first shots at the job.

Other than Thibs, options include: JVG, Byron Scott, Lawrence Frank, Coach Cal (?) and Kevin McHale

My personal choice is JVG. I am interested in Byron Scott, but his team once quit on him in Nawlins. I am opposed to Kevin McHale (not enough experience, and he's too good on TV).


Van Gundy rips Bulls over Del Negro

Jeff Van Gundy isn't the only member of his family who thinks the Chicago Bulls handled the end of the Vinny Del Negro era poorly.

Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy does not believe the recently fired Del Negro was given the proper backing from the Bulls front office, and Stan doesn't think Jeff will return to the coaching ranks next season for the Bulls or any other team.

"I was shocked by the coaching change," Van Gundy told after the Magic's shootaround on Monday morning. "I thought Vinny did a great, great job developing the young guys, and I think it will be very hard for anyone to come in and do a better job than he did."

The Magic will try to complete a four-game sweep of the Atlanta Hawks on Monday night in their Eastern Conference semifinal series.

Jeff Van Gundy, working as an ESPN analyst, was critical of the Bulls' handling of Del Negro during a nationally televised broadcast several weeks ago, and his brother agreed.

"From midseason on, I don't think Vinny got much support from their organization," Stan said. "I didn't understand -- you never know the inner-workings, and so maybe there was some stuff behind the scenes -- but from a coaching perspective, Vinny did a very, very good job with that team.

"They gave up their two best wing scorers in [Ben] Gordon and [John] Salmons, and they were a great defensive team that struggled to score. I don't think that's shocking when you give up two guys like that. The front office makes the decision to make those trades [Gordon left via free agency], and then Vinny's the scapegoat for it. [It's a] hard thing to understand."

As for speculation that Jeff is a possible candidate for the Bulls opening, Stan was skeptical.

"I don't think he will coach again next season," he said. "I think there's other priorities in his life. I'd be surprised, in fact, I'd be very, very, surprised if he were back coaching next year."

When asked specifically if he thought his brother would listen if a team like the Bulls came calling, the Orlando coach went a step further.

"I don't even think he would have a willingness to interview," he said.

Hiring Calipari to coach Bulls would be foolish move

LeBron James has won consecutive MVP awards, living up to his considerable teenage hype to become the NBA's best player. He's led the Cavaliers to back-to-back 60-win seasons.

But what James really wants in his basketball career is to play for John Calipari. At least, that's what a flood of recent news stories have suggested.

If the Bulls hire Calipari as head coach, LeBron will follow. Unless, of course, the Cavs make a pre-emptive strike and replace Mike Brown with the first-year coach at Kentucky.

Why wouldn't that happen? After all, Calipari posted a 72-116 record in two-plus seasons as coach of the New Jersey Nets. In college, he's coached four players who were top-four picks in the NBA draft (we're counting John Wall) and never won a national championship.

As this is being written, a team of lawyers may well be petitioning the NCAA to return James' amateur status so he can enroll at Kentucky next season.

In reality, this plan doesn't make much sense at all, which is why the Bulls are not considering Calipari for their coaching vacancy.

McHale wants to coach Bulls

The Chicago Bulls apparently haven't contacted Kevin McHale about its open head-coaching position but he wouldn't mind if they asked, according to ESPN.

The former Minnesota Timberwolves head coach would like to be the replacement to the fired Vinny Del Negro. "You go in there and talk to [Bulls general manager] Gar [Forman]. I know Gar and John Paxson real well. And hopefully if it's the right fit, it's the right fit. That's what you're looking for and that's what they're looking for. They're looking for the right fit," McHale, a TNT analyst, told ESPN.

Meanwhile, the Orlando Magic's Vince Carter(notes) is apparently saying he'd like to see former New Jersey Nets head coach Lawrence Frank should be selected in the Windy City: "He was great," Carter told ESPN about the man he played under for five years. "Very intense."

Chris Bosh and Joe Johnson sending signals they will leave

Well, at least we know one free agent who’s definitely leaving his team. Yes, everyone has long thought it would be Chris Bosh, and he’s done nothing to discourage that thinking with some bizarre social networking behavior in which he’s asked fans to recommend what he should do.

Bosh changed his location on his Twitter account location to “everywhere,” and removed a biography section that noted his status as Raptors captain. These seem fairly obvious hints, and Bosh last week was at a Lakers/Jazz game at Staples Center tweeting about holding the MVP trophy. It seems Bosh is working on his Lakers sign-and-trade. Gasol? Bynum? I assume the Raptors take either, if they have a chance.

But the one I was more thinking of is Joe Johnson, who in this disastrous Hawks playoff meltdown basically bidding goodbye to the booing home crowd after Game 3 when he said the booing didn’t bother him.

“Hopefully, it doesn’t bother our team,” said Johnson. “We’re in this together. Us in this locker room, we could care less if they showed up or not.”


If I were the Bulls, I’d step up aggressively and offer him the maximum deal. I might not do the sign-and-trade, but allow a clause for a year extension or work out an insurance deal for a sixth year. From everything I’ve heard, the Bulls would have to mess it up to lose Johnson.

Those who know Johnson say he is low key and doesn’t want to be in the New York area. His agent is Arn Tellem, who represents Derrick Rose, and Johnson also is close with Rose’s agent/mentor B.J. Armstrong. Plus, it would be ideal for Johnson’s game to play with an up tempo style with a point guard like Rose, and good for Rose to have a shooter to spread the court and big two guard to defend.

Now this part would be just guessing as the Bosh scenario could play out in a dozen ways. But then if you were the Bulls, you’d be in position to offer the Raptors a sign-and-trade of Hinrich, Taj Gibson, a No. 1 pick and the rights to Omer Asik for Bosh, and you figure they’d have to give that serious thought. Even if you can add Johnson and keep Hinrich, Gibson and Luol Deng, that’s a heck of head start on the future. And it doesn’t seem so improbable.

1 comment:

DC said...

"From everything I’ve heard, the Bulls would have to mess it up to lose Johnson." Phew, that means the Bulls won't get Johnson, because you know they'll mess it up. Had me worried for a minute there.

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