Bucks Diary

Friday, June 13, 2008

Why hiring Del Negro won't work

I'm not in the business of giving advice to the Bulls, but hiring Vinnie Del Negro won't work. The players will give him no respect.

When Larry Krystkowiak was hired by the Bucks, I thought it was a great idea. I was all behind it. I thought he would bring a new tough attitude to the team. It never happened. Not even close. He failed because in the players eyes he was not a legitimate NBA coach. So they didn't respect him and didn't listen to him at all. This season the Bucks were a ship with 12 seperate captains and no direction at all.

I should have seen Krystkowiak's difficulties in advance, but never did. I got a rude awakening, though, around December when I was listening to a pregame interview with Bucks F Desmond Mason. I don't remember the interview verbatim, but in relevant part Mason was asked how things were going with Krystkowiak, and his answer was basically "Pretty good, you know he's learning as he goes along..."

I almost shit myself. I knew right then Krystkowiak was toast. If Mason, one of the more amiable, team-oriented of the Bucks veterans thought Coach K was a greenhorn who didn't know what he was doing, what could the rest of the crew possibly think of him? He had no chance to succeed, that was crystal clear.

From that experience I've come to believe that rookie coaches, particularly coaches without sufficient NBA bench experience, will be hard pressed to turn around losing teams. They simply cannot command the authority necessary to implement change. And that's probably doubly true for coaches who are at heart "nice guys" as Coach K was.

And Del Negro is basically Krystkowiak with even less experience. I just don't think he has any hope of improving the Bulls.


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