Saturday, July 5, 2008

Veteran assistants should help smooth Del Negro's first season in Chicago

Vinny Del Negro's staff in Chicago includes two of the most experienced and respected coaches in pro basketball in Bernie Bickerstaff and Del Harris.

Their presence on the Bulls' staff is exactly what Vinny needs in his first season as a coach -- mentors who can help him navigate the coaching waters.

Many times it's difficult for teams to get permission to even talk with veteran coaches who are under contract. When I was putting together a staff in SAC, veteran coaches (and guys I'd worked with in the past and really respect) like Tom Thibodeau, Tom Sterner, Keith Smart, and Hank Egan were off-limits.

To get Bernie (at 64) and Del (at 71) is a coup for Vinny and will make his rookie coaching season considerably smoother .