With Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro facing intense criticism and calls for his job, it was perhaps fitting that the Boston Celtics were in town Saturday night. No one knows what Del Negro is going through more than Celtics coach Doc Rivers.
A year before Boston won its 17th NBA title in 2008, Rivers was under fire and there were numerous calls for him to be fired after the Celtics went 24-58, including an 18-game losing streak.
"I've been there; I know how that feels," Rivers said. "When you don't win, you get criticism. Unfortunately, that's the way it is. The younger you are as a coach the more it is. If it was a veteran coach, he probably would get a grace period.
"Unfortunately, Vinny's not getting that and he should but he's not. He'll weather the storm, hopefully."
Rivers and Del Negro are former teammates and friends, so Rivers isn't exactly an objective observer, but he believes the criticism of Del Negro is unwarranted.
"I believe this will work out for him," Rivers said. "I know what he can do. I coached against him last year in the playoffs. I just hope he gets the chance to do it."