Reinsdorf has issues with assistants

Published2/1/2009 12:04 AM

PHOENIX - When Bulls Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf called this season a disaster during a television interview Friday morning, he chose not to comment on the coaching staff.

At SoxFest on Saturday, Reinsdorf went a step further when pressed by a radio reporter for an assessment of first-time coach Vinny Del Negro.


"How many coaches do we have?" Reinsdorf asked.

When the reporter answered one, Reinsdorf countered by saying, "No, we don't. You know what I'm saying?"

Of course, the Bulls have several assistant coaches and brought two former NBA coach of the year winners, Del Harris and Bernie Bickerstaff, to help with Del Negro's introduction to coaching.

Reinsdorf didn't offer any details about what problems he might have with the assistants. The feeling around the team is management wanted Harris and Bickerstaff to do more to help Del Negro evolve into a head coach.

The Bulls feel many of those issues have been worked out and the coaching staff has been operating more smoothly during the past two or three weeks.

Before playing the Suns, Del Negro didn't have much to say about Reinsdorf's latest comment.

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"I'll talk to Jerry, but I'm focused on the game," he said. "I can't even think about that stuff right now. Jerry's the owner, the boss. He can say whatever he wants whenever he wants."

Rose's foot a concern: Derrick Rose sat out he final 6:42 of Saturday's win because he felt pain in his left foot. He also asked to come out of the game early in the third quarter.

It might sound alarming. But Rose said he was told the injury is not serious and wouldn't bother getting an X-ray on Saturday night. He called it a sprain on the top of his left foot.

"It's been hurting for a while," Rose said. "But I haven't dunked in so long. Tonight when I had a chance, it stung a little bit. They said it's really not that serious. I should be fine, just got to treat it."


Rose, who scored 26 points in 31 minutes, left for good after a two-handed fastbreak dunk that gave the Bulls 101-91 lead.

"His foot wasn't feeling right," Vinny Del Negro said. "Right when he said that, I just wanted to make sure he was all right. I think he'll be fine, but they'll examine him and get a better sense of it."

Bull horns: The Bulls swept the season series from Phoenix for just the fourth time in franchise history, the last coming in 1996-97. ... Luol Deng's string of three straight 20-point games came to an end, though he did finish with 17 points and 10 rebounds against Phoenix. ... Former heavyweight champ Muhammad Ali sat courtside.


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