Friday, July 11, 2008

BULLS TAP DEL NEGRO

Check out the picture at the left and tell me that if you were the owner or GM of a multi-zillion dollar sports franchise you would even vaguely consider hiring either one of these two dudes…?

Didn’t think so…

But the guy on the right, Vinny Del Negro, was recently hired to the be the 17th coach in Chicago Bulls franchise history.

Del Negro, 41, comes to the Bulls after serving as the Assistant General Manager for the Phoenix Suns. Prior to his promotion to Assistant General Manager, he served as the team’s Director of Player Personnel. Before making the transition to the Suns front office, Del Negro spent three seasons (2003-06) as a color analyst for the Suns broadcast teams. He has also served as an analyst for ESPN and the San Antonio Spurs. He has never been a head coach.

That would be “never” as in “never.”

Known to ACC aficionados as a sharp-shooting, big-talking guard for N.C. State, he was selected by the Sacramento Kings in the second round (29th overall) of the 1988 NBA Draft. He went on to play 14 seasons, including 12 in the NBA for Sacramento, San Antonio, Milwaukee, Golden State and Phoenix. In 771 regular season games, he averaged 9.1 ppg, 3.2 apg and appeared in 54 playoff contests.

Del Negro also spent two seasons in Italy (1990-92), where he played for Benetton Treviso of the Italian A1 League. While in Treviso, he starred with former Bull Toni Kukoc to lead the team to its first Italian league championship in 1992, and earned playoff MVP honors during the club’s title run.

During a successful collegiate career at North Carolina State, Del Negro played under legendary coach Jim Valvano and helped lead his team to the NCAA Tournament four times. While with the Wolfpack, he averaged 9.1 ppg, 2.9 rpg and 2.6 apg. As a senior, he averaged 15.9 ppg, 4.9 rpg and 3.6 apg and shot .515 from the field and .839 from the line, en route to All-ACC First Team honors.

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