Is there tension between Vinny and the assistants? KC Johnson thinks so.


PHOENIX -- Bulls Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf is telling people at SoxFest in Chicago what I speculated during a phone interview on "Chicago Tribune Live" Friday night, that his cryptic comments regarding the team's coaching situation was directed more at the staff as a whole than at Vinny Del Negro.

Asked by Mike North during an appearance on "Monsters in the Morning" about the Bulls' coaching situation, Reinsdorf said, "“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 better."

Most read this comment as a direct shot at Del Negro. I speculated that it was more directed at the staff as a whole. Anyone around the team regularly has sensed an odd dynamic between Del Negro and veteran assistants hired by general manager John Paxson. Disconnect is too strong a word. But Del Negro hasn't meshed as seamlessly with Del Harris, Bernie Bickerstaff and Bob Ociepka as Paxson had hoped.

That's not to say the coaches dislike each other. It's more that Del Negro and the assistants have struggled occasionally to find common ground during Del Negro's rookie coaching campaign. Reinsdorf apparently has noticed as well.


I remember reading that Vinny wanted to bring in Bob Hill as his lead assistant.  At the time I thought it was a terrible idea, simply because Hill was a lousy head coach.  Looking back, though . . . there may be something to be said for surrounding yourself with people you're comfortable with.  Really, this is just another example of how disorganized this organization is.


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