Bulls GM Forman won’t detail Del Negro’s future

Chicago Bulls general manager Gar Forman said Tuesday night he

won’t discuss reports that coach Vinny Del Negro’s job is in

jeopardy or go into detail about internal evaluations of staff,

players or coaches.

Forman made his comments after an ESPN report late Sunday said

the Bulls had decided to eventually fire Del Negro, who is in his

second season.

“Vinny is our coach. Our goal is to get better each and every

day,” Forman said, adding that everyone, including fans, is

disappointed by the 11-17 start that has included some embarrassing

losses.

“We are as a management team exploring all options in order to

get better,” Forman said. “We expect our coaches to work each and

every day to get this team better.”

Asked if the Bulls had committed to allowing Del Negro to finish

out the season, Forman said: “I feel that we shouldn’t talk about

evaluations with any personnel that we do internally. We are all

being evaluated at all times. That goes from me to our management

staff to our coaching staff to our players. And those are things we

keep internally.”

Forman said the team does not discuss “specific articles or

rumors that may cross the Internet or the newspaper or TV.”

“That’s been a philosophy that’s been in place for a while,”

he said. “We’re not going to talk about trades. We’re not going to

talk about personnel. We’re not going to talk about negotiations.

And that’s where we are at.”

Asked if the organization was behind Del Negro, Forman responded

by saying the organization was behind what it was trying to

accomplish and optimistic of where it is headed.

“There is a lot of season left this year. OK?” Forman said,

adding that the Bulls are still in the playoff picture.

“So with 50 some odd games left to play, we’re still

optimistic. We like our young core. We like our players.”

Forman said the Bulls need to develop a sound defensive base and

use an up tempo offense with last year’s Rookie of the Year Derrick

Rose pushing the ball and young players like Joakim Noah and Tyrus

Thomas running the floor.

The Bulls had hoped to build on a promising finish last season,

when they came on strong in the second half and lost to Boston in a

dramatic seven-game series in the first round of the playoffs.

Instead, after losing leading scorer Ben Gordon to the Detroit

Pistons as a free agent and with Thomas and Kirk Hinrich battling

injuries, they’ve been beaten badly several times.

In one eight-day stretch, they got danced on by LeBron James

during a loss to Cleveland, lost by more than 30 to Toronto and

Atlanta, got blown out by Boston and fell to the lowly New Jersey

Nets.

The biggest indignity, however, came Dec. 21 when they led

Sacramento by 35 in the second half, only to fall 102-98 at

home.

That just increased the speculation that Del Negro was on shaky

ground. And when Forman didn’t come out Monday and give Del Negro a

vote of confidence, it became an even bigger deal.

“People are more concerned about all that other stuff than I

am. I’m just focused on tonight’s game,” Del Negro said Tuesday

before Forman made his comments.

“You get to the point where it’s ridiculous to keep talking

about this stuff. It’s a waste of time, really,” he said, adding

that he talks with Forman and executive vice president of

basketball operations John Paxson every day.

“When they want to come out with something, they will. If they

don’t, I’m just going to keep working and doing my job and helping

this team get better. That’s my approach.”