Apr 22, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro reacts during the game against the New Orleans Hornets at the Staples Center. The Clippers defeated the Hornets 107-98. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE
The Clippers held a media conference call this afternoon to answer questions regarding their decision to exercise the third year on Coach Vinny Del Negro's contract and retain him for next season. As it usually the case in these things, not a lot was said that we didn't already know.
One bit of new information, which may or may not be completely true but is the way that the decision was presented, is that this was essentially a formality, and that there was never any real doubt that Vinny would be back next season. Some time to decompress after the season, the Memorial Day weekend -- that's the only reason that eight days elapsed between the Clippers' season and the announcement. It had nothing to do with any hesitancy on the part of the organization.
Actually, Neil Olshey didn't use the words "done deal" -- he said it was a "fait accompli". Olshey also used "implacable" and "malaise" at various points in his remarks during the call, clearly wishing to curry favor with myself, a known Francophile. He's so transparent.
As you might imagine, several reporters asked Neil about his own contract status and the interest that he has drawn from Portland for his services. Not surprisingly, Neil and the Clippers declined to answer those questions, fairly emphatically on the second and third go rounds.
For my part, I asked if Chris Paul was consulted on this decision and if he was OK with it. Diplomatic as ever, Olshey said that all the appropriate parties were consulted and that everyone was in agreement, without naming names of course. Quel dommage.