NBA notes: Vinny Del Negro’s future with LA Clippers looking foggy

Posted Monday, May. 06, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Coach Vinny Del Negro is proud of the Los Angeles Clippers’ breakthrough season even though he doesn’t know if he’ll be around for the next one.

Del Negro’s contract expires this summer after three seasons with the Clippers, who still haven’t told him whether he’s returning in the fall. He led the Clippers to a club-record 56 victories and their first Pacific Division title this season, but Los Angeles then lost to Memphis in six games in the first round of the playoffs.

The Clippers expect to decide Del Negro’s future in the next several days, but Del Negro and vice president of basketball operations Gary Sacks gave no indication what’s likely to happen after they meet with owner Donald Sterling.

“You’re going to have your ups and downs during the season — injuries, some tough losses — but we’ve set every franchise record you can set in terms of a lot of things,” Del Negro said Monday at the Clippers’ Playa Vista training complex.

Del Negro is 128-102 in three seasons in charge of the long-struggling franchise, giving him the highest winning percentage (.557) for a coach in club history. He is the only coach to post consecutive winning seasons since the Buffalo Braves moved to California and became the Clippers in 1978.

After praising Del Negro’s work ethic and professionalism, Sacks acknowledged that the Clippers’ “No. 1 priority” is re-signing Paul, an unrestricted free agent this summer.

Fisher fined

Oklahoma City’s Derek Fisher was fined $5,000 by the NBA on Monday for flopping in Game 5 of the Thunder’s first-round playoff series against the Houston Rockets.

Fisher’s fine was the result of a play in the second quarter when both he and teammate Kevin Martin fell backward onto the floor to take a charge against Houston center Omer Asik. Asik was called for an offensive foul on the play.

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