The Bulls Have a Great Coaching Staff… If You Ignore the Head Coach
If you remove head coach Vinny Del Negro from the Chicago Bulls, they have a really good coaching staff. After much ridiculed coaching search, the assistant coaching line-up now reads: Del Harris, Bernie Bickerstaff and Bob Ociepka. Harris and Bickerstaff have a combined 27 season of head coaching experience between them. Harris took the Rockets to the finals. Bickerstaff has been a GM. Both have plenty of assistant coaching experience, too. Ociepka has been an assistant for nearly 20 years, himself. If you look at Del Harris as the head coach, and then plop Vinny in the 3rd assistant slot, that looks like a really good line-up. Technically, the report says Pete Myers is still an assistant coach, but nobody, including the players, seemed to take last year’s coaching staff seriously, so I won’t now.
Look at Bickerstaff as head coach and plop Vinny in the 3rd assistant slot and it still looks decent, even though Bickerstaff hasn’t been quite as consistent a winner as Harris.
That’s how strange a hire Vinny’s been: Bulls-observers are keenly interested in who the assistant coaches are because Vinny has zero experience coaching.
Still, looking at the situation on paper, Jerry Reinsdorf asked himself WWBWD? (What Would Bill Wirtz Do?) Apparently he thought Wirtz would hire the cheapest possible head coach, then get 2 experienced head coaches as assistant coach prices, so he could end up with two head coaches for less than he’d normally pay for one.
The scary thing is, for as transparent a stunt as it seems, if Vinny embraces a corporate model of delegation, as long as Harris and Bickerstaff aren’t at each others’ throats, he’s got the resources available to him for a well run team.
Have you ever found yourself hoping the head coach would keep quiet and listen to his assistants? Welcome to Chicago.
And cherry on top of this highly improbable sundae? If Reinsdorf fires Vinny and Paxson halfway through the season, Harris can be the interim coach and Bickerstaff can be the interim GM. Bickerstaff could do both at the same time like he did in Charlotte. I’ve heard of hiring your replacement, but this borders on ridiculous.