Los Angeles Clippers superstar Chris Paul was in shock over losing to the Memphis Grizzlies in the NBA Playoffs in the first round, but he wasn’t ready to place any blame on head coach Vinny Del Negro.
“Coach did an outstanding job,” he said during his exit interview via ClippersBlog.com. “With all the pieces. I remember last year, it’s a blur now, but even the phone calls before I even got traded here. Trying to put all the different pieces together. Our coaching staff did an outstanding job with what they were dealt. We win together, lose together.”
Del Negro is on the hot seat after the Clippers failed to take the next step in their development with Paul as the leader. An endorsement from the superstar such as this could make the front office reluctant to part ways with the coach as they hope Paul re-signs with Los Angeles this offseason.
Given the uncertainty surrounding his return and the unceremonious exit from the postseason for the Clips, it could be a foregone conclusion that he doesn’t return if it weren’t for the consideration of Paul, which has to be a factor in this case. Whether or not they consult with him directly is unknown, but it’s possible they would given everything that’s at stake this offseason and in the immediate future.
In three seasons, Del Negro has led the Clippers to the playoffs twice, amassing a 6-11 record, advancing as far as the Western Conference Semifinals in 2011-2012 before being swept by the San Antonio Spurs.
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