Del Negro Plays the Blame Game

VDN responds to Reinsdorf's criticism.

Jerry Reinsdorf made his feelings on the Bulls' struggles clear. Though it's an organizational failure, it is NOT John Paxson's fault. Well if it isn't Pax's fault, then where does the blame go? Let's look through the Bulls organizational chart and see, well, it's probably not the fault of Steve Schanwald, V.P. of business operations, and no one can lay blame on Irwin Mandel, the V.P. of finance and legal, so who does that leave us with?

You guessed it. Vinny Del Negro. He must be the one to blame, right?

Del Negro responded to Reinsdorf's comments with the deftness of someone who is aware that the boss is unhappy.

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.

See what he did there? He asked for Reinsdorf's patience in turning around a young team while acknowledging his team's struggles. He went on to say:

They didn’t win 60 games last year. They didn’t have a rookie point guard, they didn’t have the injuries that we have. So, I mean, you can’t compare years, you can’t compare teams, you just have to go with what you, build, build confidence in some of these young players, find roles for everybody, try to make everybody happy — which you can’t — and try to put your team in position to get some wins.

Del Negro is quite smart. He mentions that while he has the same players as last year's team, he is expected to win, something last year's team couldn't do. He has a fair point, but the problems of this season, namely uninspired play, poor defense and chaos within the team, are not the problems of last year's team. Those are problems that can be traced directly to the coaching staff. Should Paxon have done more in the offseason, and bring in better players for Del Negro? Of course, but for now, Del Negro has to do something better with the team he has. Blame can be placed on everyone in the organization, but blame won't help the Bulls win any more games.

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