LOS ANGELES -- Seven games on the circus trip just isn't enough, so I decided to go see the Clippers and the New Orleans Hornets Monday night at the Staples Center.
Actually, I went to catch up with former Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro and see how he was surviving the Clippers' disastrous 1-13 start.
Despite his team's struggles, Del Negro was upbeat - about as upbeat as you could expect - and talked about how he was just focusing on doing his job every day. It pretty much was the same approach he took last season in Chicago after it became apparent his time on the Bulls' bench was dwindling.
That much I expected. What I didn't expect was to see Del Negro's young roster - missing veterans Baron Davis and Chris Kaman - post a 99-95 victory over the New Hornets (who brought an 11-1 record into the game) and snap a nine-game losing streak.
Afterward, Del Negro was happy that his young players finally had some positive reinforcement for their hard work.
"Winning breeds confidence," he said. "The more you win, the more confident guys are gonna get. The more confident they get, they're gonna buy into things. But I've said it from day one: we have good character guys. We've had a lot of injuries so far and some thought losses, but the guys haven't stopped fighting and playing.
"Like I've overall, we have a lot of growing to do and when you win games like this it helps the confidence of young players. It's much easier to teach after wins, believe it or not, than losses, because you can pick your spots a little bit better.
"You better be ready to fight and claw and do whatever you can at this level because no one's gonna feel sorry for you; there's not gonna be a pity party. I'm pleased that we've stayed with it. It's a good win for us."