Vinny Del Negro Won't Take the Blame

Blaming players for lack of execution has its time and place. Last Thursday was not it

There is a dearth of Bulls that's not related to the Amare Stoudemire deal. Still, last Thursday's game was quite possibly the Bulls' worst last few minutes of the season, which is saying something in 2008-09, and the explanations for what happened in that game never really saw the light of day. Which is where own own Peggy Kusinski comes in.

See, Peggy asked Del Negro about the last play against Miami -- when Derrick Rose wasn't even on the floor, and Thabo Sefalosha inbounded the ball -- and whether he second-guesses himself, and this is what he said:

Del Negro: I don't second guess myself because it's easy to be a Monday Morning quarterback.  We didn't execute and that's frustrating because we work on that lots and lots in practice... we didn't execute and that's the bottom line.

Kusinski: Outside of execution, did you put the team in the best position to win? 
Del Negro: We had an opportunity to win and that's what you want to do.  We've had a lot of opportunities to win at the end.  We have handled some of them well, haven't handled some of them well.

This would be funny if it wasn't so infuriating.

First, Vinny, coaching requires "execution," too. If you decide to leave Derrick Rose on the bench and Kirk Hinrich in the game, and you give the ball to Thabo Sefalosha on the inbounds, well, you're not doing your job. You're not executing. That street runs both ways.

Second, if we establish that you didn't do your job very well -- and by any reasonable standard, you didn't -- are we then supposed to be OK with you tossing the blame on your players? "We didn't execute" is coach-speak for "my players didn't get it done." That assumes you gave them something to execute in the first place. Not the case.

Anyway, talking about a Thursday night game a week after it happened is a bit silly, but it's hard to get over how miserable those last few seconds were. And they were miserable because of Vinny Del Negro's decisions. It's more than a little infuriating for him to then blame the problems on execution only makes it worse. Take your medicine, Vinny. Take the blame. None of us are stupid, and you're not fooling anybody.

Eamonn Brennan is a writer, editor and blogger hunkered down in Lincoln Park. You can also read him at Yahoo! Sports, FanHouse, MOUTHPIECE Sports Blog, and Inside The Hall, or at his personal site,

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