Vinny Del Negro will coach the Clippers next season. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles…)
The Clippers informed Coach Vinny Del Negro Tuesday that the team will pick up his contract option for the 2012-13 season, said sources that were not authorized to publicly speak on the matter.
Clippers owner Donald Sterling, president Andy Roeser and vice president of basketball operations Neil Olshey came to the conclusion that Del Negro would at least finish his third year as coach of the Clippers.
Del Negro took the Clippers to the second round of the Western Conference playoffs, where they were swept in four games by the San Antonio Spurs.
But it was just the second time in the 31 years Sterling has owned the team that the Clippers reached the semifinals of the playoffs.
Del Negro led the Clippers to a 40-26 record during the shortened, 66-game lockout season, the 60.6% winning percentage the highest in franchise history for a single season.
He came under intense scrutiny and his job became tenuous after the Clippers lost three consecutive games in March.
But Del Negro and the Clippers turned things around, winning 13 of their next 15 games.
The Clippers lost home-court advantage for the playoffs by losing three of their last four games.
But again, Del Negro got the team turned around in its first-round series against the Memphis Grizzlies.
The Clippers came back from a 27-point deficit to win Game 1 of that series and then won Game 7 in Memphis, to win the series, 4-3.
In his two years as coach of the Clippers, Del Negro has a 72-76 record.
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