Vinny Del Negro's option year has been picked up by the Clippers. He'll be coaching them for the 2012-13 season.
I was pretty positive that they were going to pick up his option year after the Clippers pulled off a Game 7 win over the Grizzlies AT Memphis. There's something to be said about a squad that wins a Game 7 on the road. The Clippers also had their best winning regular season percentage under Del Negro. So he was going to get rewarded for that.
I just thought they had a chance to upgrade their coach. Stan Van Gundy was available. They could've tried for his brother, Jeff. Jerry Sloan is now trying to get back into coaching. Mike D'Antoni is around as well as Nate McMillan. And even though Phil Jackson was pretty much next to impossible, Neil Olshey has been so good as an executive that I wouldn't have been surprised if he was somehow able to nab him as a coach. But as it is, they went with the cheapest option. Clipper fans can only hope that Del Negro, who is a young coach, can learn and improve within the next year or so. The Clippers just really need to show Chris Paul, who will be a free agent after next season, that they are committed to winning and that they're not the stupid franchise that they were in the past.
Their next move? They have to lock up Olshey, who has been working without a contract. There is talk that Portland is trying to sign Olshey for their general manager job. I'm sure Olshey would want to see this Clipper project through but money talks. Clippers better sign him as soon as possible.
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The next year for the Clippers could be a make-or-break campaign. I just felt it didn't have to come to that had they signed a more proven head man.
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