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Posts Tagged ‘Sacramento Kings’

Jerry Reinsdorf Speaks, Do Chicago Bulls Listen?

Posted by sportsmaven on January 30, 2009

Jerry Reinsdorf doesn’t do very many interviews.  Not with the Chicago White Sox, certainly not with the Chicago Bulls.  Jerry Reinsdorf woke up early this morning and gave Mike North and Dan Jiggets an interview on their Comcast Sports “Monsters In The Morning” TV show.  It seems to have been a bit of a disaster, at least for Bulls head coach Vinny Del Negro.

Chicago Bulls head coach Vinny Del Negro wipes his face as he watches his team play.  (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Chicago Bulls head coach Vinny Del Negro wipes his face as he watches his team play. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

In the interview, North gets into the meat of the conversation with Reinsdorf

Mike North: Where would you rate this season?

Jerry Reinsdorf: You want the grade up till today? What’s the lowest grade you can give? This has been a disaster. It’s embarrassing. But it will get better.

Nearly 200 miles away, the Bulls were getting ready for their matchup against the Sacramento Kings.  After their shoot around, Del Negro was asked about Reinsdorf’s assessment.  Chicago Sun-Times staff reporter John Jackson writes in his article in today’s Sun-Times:

“That’s just Jerry trying to motivate and trying to get guys going,” Del Negro said. “Jerry wants to win just like every owner, every coach. It’s not easy. Managing expectations and developing and all those things are very easy to talk about, but they’re hard to do and they take time. Some people are more patient than others.”

I think Vinny got about three quarters of that comment correct.  It is very difficult to manage expectations.  Yes, Jerry Reinsdorf does want to win, and yes, some people are more patient than others.  The motivation part of the statement I absolutely don’t buy one bit.  Honesty is what it is.  Motivation is definitely what it’s not.  It certainly isn’t easy to manage the average ego of an NBA player.  It definitely isn’t easy to manage that ego if you’re a rookie head coach who supposedly carries the label of a “players coach”.  Jerry isn’t the guy that is going to motivate players.  DelNegro is that guy and if he needs Reinsdorf to motivate, that’s an indictment of Del Negro not getting the job done.  It isn’t an easy job, ask Scott Skiles.

The next part of the conversation is what really disturbed me.  Jackson’s transcript of the interview continues with this exchange:

Dan Jiggetts: How comfortable are you with John at the helm?

Jerry Reinsdorf: When you have a team that’s not performing it’s an organization failure. You win and you lose as an organization. But if there’s one person that is not responsible for what’s going on right now, it’s John Paxson. I have tremendous confidence in John Paxson. He’s really one of the best people that I know. He’s a great general manager and a great judge of talent. I just worry that he not be too hard on himself. He takes all of this very, very seriously.

Mike North: To say that he’s not at all responsible … he brought in the players. So are the players not being coached up?

Jerry Reinsdorf: I have a lot of thoughts about that but they’re not thoughts that I really can say publicly. All I know is what we have right now is not good and we have to get it better. They are playing hard in the last half-dozen or so games. We had some games where…

Mike North: You knew they were mailing it in.

Jerry Reinsdorf: They were mailing it in and I felt like standing up and booing along with everybody else. They’re not mailing it in anymore.

This exchange to me, shows how ridiculous Reinsdorf can be sometimes.  The organizations win and lose mantra starts from the top on down.  I didn’t hear Reinsdorf say it starts with him.  He definitely doesn’t hold Bulls GM John Paxson accountable.  It all ends right there with Del Negro holding the bag of stink.  North tried to take it right back at Reinsdorf, suggesting that it might be coaching and Reinsdorf, with the eloquent defense for his general manager, offered no such grace for his head coach.

This whole exchange reminds me of the end of the movie, Titanic.  The ship has hit the iceberg and everyone in charge realizes the ship will eventually sink.  The ship’s captain (Del Negro), doing the honorable thing, locks himself in the bridge, planning to go down with his ship.  The ship’s archtect (Paxson) is last seen standing on the slanted deck of the first class lounge adjusting a clock that stopped, his fate sealed by the iceberg.  It is implied that he too, goes down with the ship.  The ship’s owner (Reinsdorf), who gave the order to speed through the oceans dotted with the icebergs, sheepishly jumps in a lifeboat and saves his life as the ship goes under.  See the parallels?  Accountability starts at the top.  Reinsdorf hired Paxson.  Paxson hired Del Negro.  Reinsdorf signed off on Del Negro.  Reinsdorf is as much a cause of the “disaster” as Paxson and Del Negro.  If he says that instead of that jibberish he said this morning, I would have more faith in his management skills, but alas, it’s yet another example of a lack of leadership and accountability at the top of organizations.  By the way, Bulls analysts Norm Van Lier and Kendall Gill both agree with me.  They said it themselves on tonight’s Bulls Postgame show.

Finally, do you think for a single moment that anyone wearing a red and black uniform really gives a damn about what Jerry Reinsdorf says?  Do you think that Ben Gordon read that interview and suddenly got motivated to drop 50 on the Kings, or to play a little defense?  Do you think Tyrus Thomas or Joakim Noah, or Derrick Rose watched that interview and felt the need to break down the doors to the hotel to sprint to the ARCO Arena to pound the Kings into submission tonight?  Only in your sweetest of dreams.

P.S. The Chicago Bulls pounded the Sacramento Kings 109-88.  Maybe the Bulls were listening a little bit to Reinsdorf….nah, I don’t think so.

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Is Chicago Bulls Coach Vinny Del Negro Losing The Team?

Posted by sportsmaven on January 8, 2009

Chicago Bulls GM John Paxson knew he was taking a huge risk by hiring rookie coach Vinny Del Negro as his next coach of the Bulls.  We all know how well rookie coaches have fared in Chicago since Phil Jackson left town after the 1997-98 season.

Chicago Bulls Head Coach Vinny Del Negro, left, talks with Joakim Noah in the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Sacramento Kings in Chicago, Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2009. Chicago won the game 99-94. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)

Chicago Bulls Head Coach Vinny Del Negro, left, talks with Joakim Noah in the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Sacramento Kings in Chicago, Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2009. Chicago won the game 99-94. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)

Names like Tim Floyd, Bill Cartwright, Jim Boylan (interim after the Scott Skiles firing) and now Del Negro have all walked the hallowed halls of the Berto Center with the unofficial title of “rookie head coach.”  All have failed miserably, some setting the team back years in what feels like year 10 or 11 of  the rebuilding project.

Now there’s rumblings behind the scenes that current Bulls rookie coach Vinny Del Negro may be losing the team:

Are these signs that Vinny Del Negro is losing his team?  I would have to say that these are definitely not signs that Del Negro has a firm grasp on the team, the way Scott Skiles had a grasp on the team when he was named Bulls coach.

The Bulls are definitely in a rebuilding mode around Del Negro and rookie point guard Derrick Rose.  A .500 record is not out of the question for this Bulls team, but losing to the likes of the Minnesota Timberwolves doesn’t help the cause.  More to come on this issue as the season progresses…

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Chicago Bulls Crush The Hapless Phoenix Suns?

Posted by sportsmaven on February 12, 2007

Our road weary Chicago Bulls finished their 7 game road trip on a very strong note by beating the Phoenix Suns 116-103 tonight. I was shocked to see that this was the Suns first double digit loss this season, after 51 games played. This bested the record of longest streaks to start a season without a double-digit setback held by the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls record of 45 games.

Bulls Beat Suns 1Bulls Beat Suns 2
(AP Photo/Tom Hood)

Of course, the Suns were playing without G Steve Nash and F Boris Diaw, which makes playing this game a bit easier, but the Suns still rolled out a strong lineup with Amare Stoudamire and Leandro Barbosa each racking up 26 points. Amare also had 10 boards to go along with those points. The Bulls came out HUGE tonight with Kirk Hinrich scoring 29 points, and Luol Deng having another monster night with 29 points and 12 rebounds. Ben Gordon added 27 points. Tyrus Thomas also started the game tonight, scoring 9 points and grabbing 4 rebounds. This win was a bit of a shocker to me. This is a good Phoenix Suns team and the Bulls were coming off very poor losses to the Sacramento Kings and Golden State Warriors and playing 3 games in the last 4 nights.

Another couple of factoids for this game: G Jalen Rose played 6 minutes and scored 3 points in this game, his average for the season. This was Jalen’s second game in the last 15 the Phoenix Suns have played. Also, this game marked a reunion of another ex-Bull, G Eric Piatkowski. Eric logged a DNP – CD (Did Not Play – Coaches Decision for those acronomically challenged). Eric has played exactly 1 game this season for the Suns, 4 minutes on 11/11. This guy must be worn out from those tough Phoenix practices that wore out Tim Thomas last season.

This is yet another maddening chapter in this season’s version of the Chicago Bulls. The inconsistency of this team is unbelievable. If they ever put it together, get some consistent scoring, and play at another level offensively, this team is a leading contender in the Eastern Conference. The Bulls have beaten the Dallas Mavericks, San Antonio Spurs, Detroit Pistons, Miami Heat twice, Washington Wizards, and the Los Angeles Lakers, all strong playoff contenders. Their losses? They have lost to the Philadelphia76ers, Sacramento Kings twice, the Minnesota Timberwolves, the New York Knicks, and the New Jersey Nets twice, blowing 18 point leads in both those losses. All these teams are well under .500. Consistency, consistency, where are you, consistency?

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Chicago Bulls Take The Maloof Smackdown

Posted by sportsmaven on February 9, 2007

Well, not exactly a smackdown directly from the Maloof brothers, but the Bulls were smacked down last night by the brothers prize possession, the Sacramento Kings. The final score of 86-77 speaks volumes on the problems this Chicago Bulls team faces. This was a game that the Kings desperately wanted to give to the Bulls. The Kings built a couple of double digit leads before letting the Bulls right back into the game each time. The Bulls shot 33% from the field, by far their worst shooting game of the season, and still managed to be in the game until the end. The Bulls slogged through 102 rim rattling, clunk sounding brick jobs called shots, thanks to a 21-4 edge in offensive rebounds, and managed to get only 34 of those clunkers through the rim. The Bulls shot an even worse 22% from 3-point land and 45% from the free throw line.

Bulls vs. Kings 2-8-07
(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

Ben Gordon, the Bulls leading scorer was the biggest culprit, going 3-16 from the floor and finishing with 7 points for the game. The way the Bulls are currently structured, they are a perimeter oriented team. With the loss of Andres Nocioni to injury, there are even MORE of a perimeter oriented team. When perimeter oriented teams struggle with their outside shots, like the Bulls did last night, you must have someone step it up and take the ball to the hole, or the end result will be difficulty scoring. And this is what happened to the Bulls. Ben Gordon, bless his heart, has the mind of a shooter. To his credit, he kept jacking up shot after shot, and 3 of those shots actually went in. But I didn’t see Little Ben go to the rim once last night and that’s a HUGE problem when your jumper left the building with Elvis. In addition, it seemed as though Little Ben carried his offensive struggles to the defensive side of his game, as Sacramento’s backcourt of Kevin Martin and Mike Bibby scored 29 and 21 points respectively.

Great DaneRon Artest

It’s tough to play without an inside game (although Luol Deng had exactly a 20 and 10 night last night) as the Bulls often do the past couple of seasons. When you’re outside game deserts you, and you can’t take it to the rim, then you become the Chicago Blackhawks, or on a more relevant parallel, you are as well fed as Ron Artest’s Great Dane, Socks. Like the wise sage Charles Barkley said last night on the TNT post-game show, “if you can’t score, you can’t win”. I love Sir Charles’ directness and he is right…….

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