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Report: Kings have reached out to Vinny Del Negro about being next coach

Vinny Del Negro

Los Angeles Clippers head coach Vinny Del Negro watches the action in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Portland Trail Blazers in Los Angeles Tuesday, April 16, 2013. The Clippers won, 93-77. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)


That sound you just heard was the collective voice of people in Sacramento yelling “nooooooooo.”

The Kings unexpectedly and unnecessarily canned Mike Malone midseason, and now Tyrone Corbin has the interim head coaching job. All reports are he’s going to keep the job through the end of this season, but he’s not the long term guy.

Chris Mullin seems to have right of first refusal and the ear of Kings owner Vivek Ranadivé. The owner also has interest in George Karl (as do others in the organization) and the feeling is mutual.

But Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated says another name is in the mix, one mentioned in other places as well: Vinny Del Negro.

Del Negro has a .533 regular season winning percentage and you can’t just dismiss him as someone with no idea how to coach in the NBA. He’s done okay. What should trouble Kings fans — and more importantly Ranadivé — is Del Negro’s simplistic offenses, his tedious interviews and public interactions, the heavy reliance on pick-and-roll sets, and his inability to put players in positions to succeed. Guys like Chris Paul and Derrick Rose did better with the next coaches they had after Del Negro because those coaches used systems that gave the players more options and pushed then to give up the ball a little rather than make all the decisions.

What Del Negro does is interview well. He talks a good game. Remember the stories of how he charmed Donald Sterling and his wife over dinner, securing the Clippers job despite the rest of the front office wanting to go another direction? Owners will do that when they like a candidate.

Del Negro sells himself as a guy who can develop players. But the Kings would be better off with Karl. And probably Mullin too, although we have no idea if he can coach.