Chicago Sun-Times

No looking back for Del Negro

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New Bulls head coach Vinny Del Negro is not much interested in what went on through last season, an often soap opera-like 33-49 campaign which cost head coach Scott Skiles and Jim Boylan, the ensuing interim head coach, their jobs.
``I don't want to judge what things happened in the past,'' Del Negro said. ``To me, it's irrelevent. What's relevent to me is how [the players] are responding now; what they're mindset is and what they're focus is now.''
Too often last season players became focused more on individual stats and minutes rather than team goals and wins.
``I think we have good character guys on this team,'' Del Negro said. ``Obviously, it's a long season. There's a lot of adversity that happens. I have faith in not only our younger guys, but our veteran guys to step up and take ownership and not let those things happen and even become an issue. That's my job and I won't stand for that. The players know that. They're going to work hard and play hard, or they won't be out there.''
Del Negro down-played what was his first ever practice as a head coach at any level Tuesday when he opened the Bulls training camp.
``Not really,'' Del Negro said when asked if he stopped to consider the moment. ``To me it's basketball. I have a lot of confidence in my staff. We've prepared really well. We're organized. We have a lot of experience and I'm going to use those guys. I thought it went well for a first practice, but it is a first practice. So let's not get ahead of ourselves. There's a lot of work to do. Guys know it and we'll monitor different injuries and different conditions we have. Hopefully, we'll stay fairly healthy in training camp and keep on building.''

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This page contains a single entry by Brian Hanley published on September 30, 2008 3:25 PM.

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