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Vinny Del Negro hints at the truth, but successfully avoids questions about Chris Paul’s role in his dismissal

Chris Paul ,  Vinny Del Negro

Los Angeles Clippers’ Chris Paul (3) talks to Clippers’ Vinny Del Negro during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers, Monday, Feb. 11, 2013, in Philadelphia. The Clippers won 107-90. (AP Photo H. Rumph Jr)


Vinny Del Negro appeared on the Dan Patrick Show on Tuesday, and spent a segment almost 10 minutes long discussing how his tenure ended with the Los Angeles Clippers.

The assumption that Chris Paul had as much to do with Del Negro not being brought back as anything (remember, technically he wasn’t fired; his contract only ran through the end of this season) was hinted at being true by Clippers owner Donald Sterling, and Del Negro similarly hinted at it during the first portion of this interview.

Patrick asks excellent, pointed questions to try to get the answers we’re all curious about, and Del Negro hems and haws his way through it all -- presumably, because he’d like another shot at coaching some day, and the way to make that happen isn’t to go on national radio and put your former team on blast.

We all know retaining a superstar player like Paul is more important than keeping all but one or two of the league’s head coaches in house. Despite the fact that the Clippers finished the season with a franchise-best 56 wins that Del Negro will continue to hang his hat on, there were very real flaws in his coaching style that played as much of a part in his dismissal as the wishes of the team’s all-world free agent.