The Clippers head coach earned the award after leading his team to an undefeated record in December.
By MICHAEL MARTINEZFS West
Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro isn’t the type to gloat about winning streaks or personal achievements, so the news he was selected the NBA’s Western Conference coach of the month isn’t likely to put much more than a grin on his face. But when your team goes 16-0 in one month, as the Clippers did in December, it doesn’t go unnoticed.
Heading into Wednesday night’s game at Golden State, the Clippers (25-7) have the second-best record in the league, behind Oklahoma City (24-6). Their 17-game winning streak, the longest in the NBA since 2008, ended New Year’s Day in a 92-78 loss at Denver.
Del Negro is in his third season as Clippers coach after two seasons with the Chicago Bulls. Last season, he took the Clippers to the conference finals before losing to the San Antonio Spurs.
This is the first time Del Negro has won coach of the month honors. He’s the first Clippers coach to win the award since Larry Brown in March 1992.
Other Western Conference nominees were Mark Jackson of Golden State, Scott Brooks of Oklahoma City and Terry Stotts of Portland.
Atlanta Hawks coach Larry Drew was named the Eastern Conference’s top coach for December.