According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, Vinny Del Negro will join the short list of candidates for the Nuggets head coaching job, and interviews for the job this weekend. He joins Memphis Coach Lionel Hollins and Indiana assistant Brian Shaw as leading candidates for the coaching vacancy.
Del Negro will probably enter this meeting touting his four seasons of making it to the playoffs with the Bulls and the Clippers out of his five total years of head coaching experience, and the 56 wins he “led” his most recent team to.
Do not be fooled. Vinny Del Negro is not a good basketball coach. In fact, by near consensus, he is a very, very bad basketball coach. Absolutes like this are something I tend to avoid, especially when it comes to judging something as unquantifiable as coaching, but anybody who has watched a Vinny Del Negro coached team for any length of time generally comes back to that same assessment (hence the two firings that make up his resume so far).
If George Karl’s offenses tended to be somewhat simplistic, Del Negro’s are downright rudimentary. The philosophy is more or less to have three guys stand and watch as two players run a high pick-and-roll and, if that fails, then there are four guys standing around watching one player iso. It was only through the greatness of Chris Paul and a talented roster that the Clippers were as successful as they were this year, but the playoffs revealed their true selves and at the first sign of adversity (Blake Griffin’s ankle injury), Vinny crumbled.
His rotations are puzzling, his love and devotion to veterans puts even Karl to shame, and, based on DeAndre Jordan’s “development”, he is not exactly the kind of coach you want guiding JaVale McGee. He is a curious candidate for this head coaching job to say the least, and his potential hiring would be a worrying first move for this new front office.
I don’t know if this is just the Nuggets exhausting all their options or if they really think that Del Negro is a good coach, but either way the mere prospect that he could be leading this team next year should terrify Nuggets fans.