Though he helped the Clippers to their best record in franchise history and back-to-back Western Conference playoff appearances, those weren't enough for Vinny Del Negro to keep his job as coach of the team.
Del Negro said that being let go Tuesday was “hard to take," but that he understood how the business of professional basketball works.
He said he was happy to help change the Clippers' culture.
He also wanted to thank Clippers owner Donald Sterling, President Andy Roeser, Vice President of Basketball Operations Gary Sacks and director of basketball administration Eric Miller.
“You try not to ever be surprised, but it is a business,” Del Negro said in a phone interview from his home in Phoenix. “But I want to thank the fans, the organization and Mr. and Mrs. Sterling for giving me this opportunity.... I want to thank the players and my entire staff for their effort and support.”