An NBA Confession

vinny

vinny

My uncle once told me there’s no better way to introduce yourself to someone than by telling them a secret that will probably make them dislike you.  He is a wise man (and also currently in prison for stealing a closet full of Mark Cuban’s Affliction t-shirts, which I do not condone).

 

Without any further adieu then… I’d like to introduce myself to you by revealing a tightly-guarded secret I’ve held to myself for many years.  It’s something I’ve been afraid to admit to even my family or closest friends, as I know it will bring shame upon me.  But, the time has come for me to heal myself by hurting my own reputation.  So, in the words of people who drink Bud Light, “Here we go…”

 

I am a close personal friend of Vinny Del Negro.

 

Wow.  That was harder than you might think.  And before the hate-mail starts pouring in, hear me out.

 

Vinny Del Negro, a man once accused of wearing a finely-sculpted brillo pad as a toupee, gets a lot of criticism for his coaching style.  Usually it’s someone online saying, “Chris Paul is thereal coach of the Clippers.”  Or, “He fundamentally does not understand NBA-level defensive schemes.”  Or, “He dresses like an extra from the movie Tin Cup.”  Well, those are all hurtful statements.  And, as a very, very, very close personal friend of Vinny Del Negro, I’d like to come to his defense and shed a little bit of light on his true character.

 

First, there are many things you probably didn’t know about Vinny Del Negro, things that will redeem his character.  For example, did you know that, on top of a long career in the NBA and overseas, he’s also…

 

And while his dexterity is greater than most people his age, he…

 

Medical tests have shown that he’s…

yaau

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

However, that can also be attributed to the fact that…

 

I’ve spent a lot of time around the man – whether it was fishing, helping him make his own pasta, or going to the movies (he loves the Legally Blonde series and wants more sequels) – one thing has always been clear: Vinny Del Negro is incredibly disciplined.  He lives his life by one fundamental principle:

 

I think you have to respect a man that follows that principle.  Of course, like any other human being, he has flaws.  A lot of them.  The second someone asks him a question, he’s usually like…

 

If it’s a really tough question, like “What’s a good inbound play to run after a timeout?” then he’s thinking…

 

 

 

 

Like most of us, he prefers simpler questions, like “Is today Tuesday?”

 

Or, “Did you put those pants on by yourself?”

 

Or, “What sound does an owl make?”

And when he’s left alone, he’s usually thinking…

 

 

I wish I could say that my good friend, Vinny Del Negro, was perfect.  He’s not.  He’s far, far from it.  And on top of that, he’s a very prideful man.  If he finds out that you criticized him, his response is usually…

 

But he’s also rational.  If you explained to him that he doesn’t maximize the strength of his players, he’s routinely outcoached in clutch situations, his substitution patterns undermine the confidence of his players, his offensive strategies are predictable, his defensive strategies are non-existent, and the Clippers are utterly incapable of beating any of the top-tier Western Conference teams…..he’d say…

 

Bottom line….he doesn’t always meet expectations.  But he’s trying.  Hell, if a GM made me an NBA coach tomorrow, I’d probably be just as bad.  So before you go judging him and assume he’s the worst coach in the league, ask yourself the following question: Would I do a better job than Vinny Del Negro if I were coach of the Los Angeles Clippers?

 

And you know what?  Unless you’re one of the 500-600 people out there that can say yes to that question….then I think you need to cut the guy some slack.  Life is short.  Find comfortable clothes, a hairstylist that “gets” you, and do what you love.  As my good friend Vinny Del Negro always says, “Golf, sex, and coaching an NBA basketball team….the only three things you can be terrible at but still enjoy.”

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