Sports and Scores
 

Clippers won't offer Del Negro new deal as coach

(Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)

By BETH HARRIS


Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) Vinny Del Negro is out as coach of the Los Angeles Clippers after a season in which the team won its first division title but lost in the first round of the playoffs.

The team said Tuesday he won't be offered a contract when his current one expires at the end of June. He is just the second coach to leave the team with a winning record, following Larry Brown in 1993.

"This was a difficult decision, but we feel this is the best decision for our franchise moving forward," said Gary Sacks, vice president of basketball operations.

Del Negro had a 128-102 regular-season record in three years with the team. The Clippers made the playoffs the last two seasons, including last year when they advanced to the second round for only the second time since the franchise moved to Los Angeles in 1984.

This season, the team won a franchise-record 56 games, including a 17-game winning streak. And with All-Stars Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, the Clippers were one of the NBA's most exciting attractions, with acrobatic dunks and dazzling playmaking. But the postseason was quick and disappointing - an exit in six games to Memphis despite a 2-0 lead.

"We would like to thank Vinny for everything he did during his three years with the organization," Sacks said. "Vinny helped this team win a Pacific Division title and we greatly appreciate all that he and his staff helped us accomplish."

The search for a new coach will begin immediately.

Del Negro had the highest winning percentage (.557) for a coach in the club's beleaguered history. He is the only coach to have consecutive winning seasons since the Buffalo Braves moved to California and became the Clippers in 1978. The Clippers had just six winning seasons in their first 41 years. Now they've put together consecutive winning records and playoff appearances for the first time in 20 years.

"We've set every franchise record," Del Negro said two weeks ago. "So I'm proud of a lot of things we did."

Much of the credit for the dramatic turnaround went to Paul and Griffin. Del Negro was criticized at times this season for his rotations, and there was speculation about whether he would return.

Paul and Griffin have been supportive of their coach, and two weeks ago Sacks acknowledged that the players' opinions would be part of the decision on Del Negro.

"I think Vinny did a great job of managing the egos and taking this team to a new level," veteran Matt Barnes said after his exit interview at the end of the season.

Del Negro had said he enjoyed working with Paul and Griffin.

"They're the nucleus of the team, obviously, that you want to keep intact and move forward with," he said.

Sacks made it clear that the team's top priority is to re-sign Paul, who becomes an unrestricted free agent July 1. He could receive a five-year, $108 million deal.

Del Negro came to the Clippers from the Chicago Bulls, where the 46-year-old coach went 82-82 in two seasons including back-to-back playoff appearances before being fired.

Before that, Del Negro had front-office roles with Phoenix from 2006-08. He previously worked as a broadcaster for the Suns and San Antonio. He played in the NBA for 12 years.

Updated May 21, 2013

? © 2014 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

Audio On Demand

It Is What It Is Cast: Lo…

It Is What It Is Cast: Logan Mankins, the offensive line, and Brandon Spikes' guarantee

WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Christopher Price discuss Logan Mankins' breakdown of the offensive line and how it will look without Dante Scarnecchia. They also discussed Mankins' rebuttal to Brandon Spikes.

It Is What It Is Cast: Bill Parcells and Patriots Hall of Fame

WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Chris Price discuss Bill Parcells' Patriots Hall of Fame candidacy.

CSNNE's Tom E. Curran Reports From NFL Owners Meetings

Tom Curran calls the show to discuss the Vince Wilfork contract situation. After texting with Vince this morning, Curran says that Vince's camp is possibly trying to put the "genie back in the lamp" and that the possibility of the Pro Bowl DT returning to the team has improved.

Celtics President Danny A…

Celtics President Danny Ainge with Dale and Holley 4-17-14

We wrap up the Celtics season by speaking with Celtics president Danny Ainge about this past season and the team's future.

Wyc Grousbeck, Celtics Owner: Reflects on the Boston Marathon tragedy 4-15-4

Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck joins Mut and Merloni to discuss and reflect on the Boston Marathon Bombings a year later.

Jackie MacMullan, ESPN Boston, on the Celtics, 4-10-14

Jackie MacMullan talks some Celtics with Mut and Merloni as the season is winding down and the team is positioned to have a high draft pick.

Tim Wakefield on the Red …

Tim Wakefield on the Red Sox tough start 4-23-14

Tim Wakefield discussed the Sox tough start to the season. He is optimistic that the guys can turn it around.

Shabazz Napier joins Joe and Dave as the UConn Huskies are honored at Fenway Park

UConn Point Guard, Shabazz Napier joined the guys for a half inning and talked about his experiences in college, his reasoning behind completing his education, and growing up in Boston.

Jonny Gomes with Joe Castiglione & Rob Bradford after the crazy win at Fenway

Joe & Rob talked to Jonny Gomes after the dramatic run-off win at Fenway over the Orioles.

Pierre McGuire, NBC Sport…

Pierre McGuire, NBC Sports, Bruins- Red Wings 4-22-14

Pierre McGuire of NBC Sports joins the program to talk about Game 3 between the Bruins and the Red Wings. He also discusses the issue of targeting player and weighs in on Matt Cooke's vicious knee hit to Tyson Barrie.

Dale and Holley with Patrice Bergeron live from Detroit

Dale and Michael speak with Patrice Bergeron on the phone from Detroit on Marathon Monday fresh off a Bruins optional skate. Patrice talks about the B's slow start in game one, putting it all together for the team in game two, how the rest of this series might play out, and what this anniversary of the Boston Marathon means to him.

Bruins' Enforcer Shawn Thornton Talk with D&C After Game 2 4-21-14

Thornton joins Dino and Gerry to recap Games 1 and 2, discuss Brendan Smith challenging Chara, and preview Game 3 in Detroit.

Tim Wakefield on the Red …

Tim Wakefield on the Red Sox tough start

Tim Wakefield discussed the Sox tough start to the season. He is optimistic that the guys can turn it around.

Headlines, Headlines, Headlines: Colbert introduced on Letterman

The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane. The guys talked about Colbert joining Dave Letterman last night.

Brad Marchand is a flopper 4-23-14

The guys opened the show by discussing Brad Marchand's flop and the Bruins win last night.

Pierre McGuire, NBC Sport…

Pierre McGuire, NBC Sports, Bruins- Red Wings 4-22-14

Pierre McGuire of NBC Sports joins the program to talk about Game 3 between the Bruins and the Red Wings. He also discusses the issue of targeting player and weighs in on Matt Cooke's vicious knee hit to Tyson Barrie.

Daily Diamond: Pittsburgh and Milwaukee clear benches in big brawl, April 22, 2014

Mut and Merloni discuss the latest brawl between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Pittsburgh Pirates

Pierre McGuire, NBC Sports, Previews Bruins-Red Wings 4-18-14

Pierre McGuire of NBC Sports joins the program to talk about the creativity of Red Wings coach Mike Babcock as well as the potential for physical play in the series.

Does anyone really miss J…

Does anyone really miss Jacoby Ellsbury in a Red Sox uniform 4-22-14

We discuss the return of Jacoby Ellsbury to Fenway Park, including why he left Boston, and what the crowd reaction will be for him.

DJ Bean live from Detroit previews Round One Games 3 and 4. 4-22-14

We check in with Mr. Bean live from the D to preview two games of Bruins-Wings action.

What's wrong with the 2014 version of Clay Buchholz? 4-22-14

We discuss the harsh start by Clay Buchholz, and how the turnaround from last season's start has been disturbing to watch if you're a Sox fan/

Rick Middleton joins Plan…

Rick Middleton joins Planet Mikey

Nifty jumps on the Planet for an hour.

Red Sox lose to the Orioles 2-1 on Opening Day

Lou Merloni did play-by-play with Joe Castiglione today and then joined The Planet Mikey Show to talk about what went wrong, and a few things that went right as the Red Sox started their campaign to defend their World Series title.

Chris Price joins John Ryder to talk the Patriots' newest acquisition

WEEI.com's Chris Price joins John Ryder and Chris Villani on Planet Mikey to discuss the signing of Revis Island

Fantasy Football Off-Seas…

Fantasy Football Off-Season Podcast 4

The 4th addition of WEEI’s Fantasy Football Offseason Podcast is loaded and ready. In this week’s conversation Jim Hackett and Pete Davidson of Rotobahn.com dig into the sinking draft stock of Teddy Bridgewater (much too their chagrin), while refocusing and emphasizing the immense scouting work done by Pete on players like Bridgewater, Zach Mettenberger, Blake Bortles, Bishop Sankey & Lache Seastrunk. Also, Jim & Pete touch on news from around the league regarding new Jet, Chris Johnson, Montee Ball in Denver and help you tune out all of the negative noise some in the media are trying to push. We’re not buying! Lots of Football love in this podcast for the Football lover. Enjoy!

Pod Man Rush: DJ Bean and Greg Wyshynski on Bruins-Red Wings

Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo! Sports joins DJ to break down the first-round matchup between the Bruins and Red Wings. Also discussed is Zdeno Chara's Norris candidacy, transparency with voting for the NHL awards and whether the Canadiens will get out of the first round.

Minor Details Ep. 79: The meaning of winning in the minors with Carlos Febles, Evan Lepler

The Red Sox' High-A minor league team in Salem recently had a 16-game winning streak that spanned two seasons. So what? From the standpoint of making prospects better and fostering player development, does that matter? Salem manager Carlos Febles (who managed Salem for the end of their winning streak, but who was also in charge of a 50-87 Single-A Greenville team in 2013) and Salem radio play-by-play man Evan Lepler discuss -- while also touching on a number of prospects in search of the next Earl Weaver and Vinegar Bend Mizell.

Chris Forsberg, ESPN Bost…

Chris Forsberg, ESPN Boston, joins Chris Villani on Easter to talk Celtics

With the season over, Chris Forsberg says the Celtics accomplished what they intended to this year. He also gets into what Rajon Rondo may be thinking heading into his last year in his contract. Danny Ainge has a plan and it'll be interesting to see how this off-season develops.

More from this show

Boston Marathon director …

Boston Marathon director Dave McGillivray 4-22-14

Dave called in to discuss the epic Boston Marathon.

More from this show

Headlines, Headlines, Hea…

Headlines, Headlines, Headlines: David Gregory is tanking 4-22-14

The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane. Today the guys discussed David Gregory's tanking Meet The Press ratings.

More from this show

Reflections on Marathon M…

Reflections on Marathon Monday and recapping the race with WEEI's Kirk Minihane

Dale and Michael talk about what Marathon Monday means for them, the tremendous amount of people and positivity today in the Back Bay, and then Kirk Minihane, fresh off 26.2 miles stops by to recap a great experience in today's marathon.

More from this show

A great Marathon Monday 4…

A great Marathon Monday 4-22-14

The guys opened the show by discussing yesterday's Boston Marathon and Kirk's run.

More from this show

Weei Writers