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Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Scott: Wouldn't hang up on Bulls

ESPNChicago.com

Former NBA coach of the year Byron Scott said he wouldn't hang up the phone on the Chicago Bulls if they call him this offseason about a coaching vacancy.

Vinny Del Negro, who has led the Bulls to playoff appearances in his two seasons in Chicago, has another year left on his contract, but it's widely speculated that Del Negro will be let go as soon as the season is over. The Bulls trail the Cleveland Cavaliers 2-0 in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.

"Chicago is a city I love," Scott said on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "I spend time in Chicago during the summers, and coaching [the New Jersey Nets] in the Eastern Conference, I've been in Chicago a bunch of times.

"I wouldn't hang the phone up, let's put it that way. And I do think Chicago is going to be one of the better jobs that's available, if it's available."

Recent reports about a physical altercation between Del Negro and Bulls vice president John Paxson did nothing to quell the speculation about Del Negro's future. Scott, at first, downplayed the incident's impact on future coaching candidates.

"Well, I don't really know about front-office chaos, because the only thing I really heard was the incident with John and Vinny about Joakim Noah's minutes, or something like that," said Scott, who is an NBA analyst for ESPN. "Other than that, I haven't really heard about the front office and that type of chaos.

"I think that always starts at the top, and once the top is stable, it's a very desirable place to play basketball."

But when pressed, Scott said it was a big deal.

"Yeah, that's a big deal," Scott said. "The one thing that I've always had in the two stops I've been to -- New Orleans and New Jersey -- is I've had a great relationship with the GM. [Nets president] Rod Thorn and I are still very close friends.

"I think that's very key to the success of an organization. The coach and the general manager have to be on the same page and have mutual respect for one another. It is a big deal."