- Melissa Isaacson, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Chicago Bulls will not make an announcement on the fate of head coach Vinny Del Negro at least until the weekend, general manager Gar Forman said following the Bulls' first-round series-ending loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday night.
The team will have player exit meetings Wednesday and organizational meetings for the next couple of days. No decision will be made until those meetings are concluded and Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf returns from out of town this weekend, Forman said.
Del Negro has one year remaining on a three-year contract and widespread speculation is that he will be relieved of his duties after the deterioration of his working relationship with team management and most recently, an altercation with executive vice president of basketball operations John Paxson.
Asked about his future following the Bulls' 96-94 loss to Cleveland in Game 5 on Tuesday night, Del Negro said: "I don't even think about that stuff."
If Bulls guard Derrick Rose has anything to say about it, Del Negro will return next season.
Moments after the Bulls were eliminated, Rose said he'll vote "Yes" if he's asked by Chicago's front office whether he wants Del Negro back.
"That's a guy, when we both came in, he let me have my freedom," said Rose, who like Del Negro, just completed his second season with the Bulls. "He still coached me. He let me make my mistakes. We watched film together every day. He taught me a lot of offense and defense, what I'm supposed to do. But the decision is not up to me. It's up to the front office, so I'm just going to let them deal with that."
LeBron James said he thought the Bulls were well-coached during this series.
"Vinny and that coaching staff had those guys ready," James said. "They have a group of young talent that loves to play the game of basketball and they play hard. There was not one point where they kind of laid down. I'm not trying to make a pitch for Vinny because I know what's going on -- 'Is Vinny in or is Vinny out?' That's not my job, but this team that we played in this series played hard."
Melissa Isaacson is a columnist for ESPNChicago.com. Information from ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard contributed to this report.
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