ESPN: Vinny's Fate Already Sealed

Bulls brass looking for Del Negro's replacement, report says

Monday, Dec 28, 2009  |  Updated 12:00 AM CDT
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The Epic Bulls Vs. Celtics 2009 Playoff Series

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Vinny Del Negro never coached before last season. But his squad still made the playoffs and took it to the Celtics in the opening round. Can he take his team to the second round this year?

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Chicago Bulls management has decided to fire embattled coach Vinny Del Negro, ESPN the Magazine's Chris Broussard reported Sunday.

Broussard quotes "sources with knowledge of the Chicago Bulls' thinking" as saying that the only thing holding up Del Negro's firing is a decision on a suitable replacement.

A scenario in which executive vice president of basketball operations John Paxon would take over the team was considered, but Paxon decided against it, according to the report. Former coach Doug Collins was also reportedly contacted, but wasn't interested in the gig.

Late last week, Bulls brass were reportedly checking out recently-fired New Jersey Nets coach Lawrence Frank as a potential candidate.

The Bulls are 5-13 in their last 18 games after beating the New Orleans Hornets Saturday night.

The source also told ESPN that there's a chance that Del Negro's firing may be delayed, but there's "no chance he would coach the team beyond this season."

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