- Nick Friedell, ESPN Staff Writer
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DEERFIELD, Ill. -- Vinny Del Negro's future with the Chicago Bulls has been a hot topic in NBA circles for months, but his players don't want to think about the likelihood that their coach will be fired as soon as the season is over.
Del Negro's deteriorating relationship with Bulls management has been well-documented, including a physical altercation with vice president John Paxson.
The Bulls trail the Cleveland Cavaliers 3-1 with Game 5 on Tuesday in Cleveland.
"Those are things as players that we can't really control," Bulls center Joakim Noah said after Bulls practice on Monday afternoon. "I think our mindset is just to be ready for [Tuesday's] game.
"I think that we're in this all together. During the year, a lot of things happened. There's a lot of rumors, a lot of speculation. Some things are better kept internal, kind of like a family, or a frat. Kind of like that."
When pushed by a reporter that many fans may be wondering about Del Negro's future, Noah didn't open up.
"I agree with that," he said. "But that doesn't mean you guys have to know everything.
"As long as we fight every day on the court for you guys, what else do you need to know?"
Noah clearly didn't want to talk about his coach's future before his team's biggest game of the season.
"How about we just focus on the game tomorrow and see what happens," he said. "When the season's over, you'll figure it out.
"I think that's it's just important to live in the moment. I'm enjoying this. We got smacked by 30 [on Sunday]. I still think we're in a good situation right now; getting to play on the biggest stage in the world. Hopefully try to battle it out [Wednesday] against the best players in the world. I think that's pretty cool."
Nick Friedell covers the Bulls for ESPNChicago.com.
4dSteve Ilardi and Jeremias Engelmann