- Arash Markazi, ESPN Staff Writer
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PLAYA VISTA, Calif. -- Los Angeles Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro received a vote of confidence from Clippers owner Donald Sterling and general manager Neil Olshey this week and appears safe to finish the season as the team's coach after reportedly being on the hot seat last week.
"It didn't need to be done but it is appreciated," Del Negro said. "It's a difficult situation. People start talking even though it's not the reality of the situation; it becomes a headache. We're trying to build something special here and do it the right way and when you lose games, you're going to be questioned on things. That's just part of it."
After the Clippers had lost three games in three days on the road last week and had lost 12 of 19 games, there were reports that Del Negro had lost the locker room and was on the verge of losing his job. The Clippers, however, have won their past two games by an average margin of 14 points and are just two games behind the Los Angeles Lakers for first place in the Pacific Division with 17 games left in the season.
"I appreciate Mr. Sterling and Neil doing that and it really didn't need to be done because I talk to them all the time," Del Negro said of the vote of confidence he received this week. "But a lot of times perception is different than reality. We're moving in the right direction. We have a lot of work to do but there's no place I'd rather coach than here."
Del Negro said he tried to ignore the reports but admitted it was difficult to escape the constant rumors about his job status as the team struggled to win games.
"Obviously, the speculation is bothersome because I have a family and no one wants to lose their job and I have a great job," Del Negro. "I also know how hard my staff works and how hard we work. Have we had our bumps in the road? Of course.
"But it's nice to get everyone pulling in the same direction and hopefully we'll get some good results and make the fans and make Mr. Sterling and the organization proud of what we do this year."
3dSteve Ilardi and Jeremias Engelmann