CHICAGO - Vinny Del Negro has accepted his first head-coaching job, agreeing to take over a Chicago Bulls team that went from 49 wins to 49 losses in a season and missed the playoffs after making the second round in 2007.
General manager John Paxson plans to introduce Del Negro at a news conference this afternoon, team spokesman Matt Yob said yesterday.
His selection ends a drawn-out search in which the Bulls' high-profile courtships of Mike D'Antoni and Doug Collins collapsed.
Del Negro, most recently the Phoenix Suns' assistant general manager, interviewed for the job last week and quickly moved to the top of the list after Collins and chairman Jerry Reinsdorf decided to pass on a reunion.
Del Negro had been interested in replacing D'Antoni on the Suns' sideline but did not make general manager Steve Kerr's list of four finalists. That job went to Terry Porter.
Gibson has ankle surgery. Cleveland Cavaliers guard Daniel Gibson had arthroscopic surgery on his left ankle and is expected to be ready for training camp.
The second-year guard, a restricted free agent, had the operation in Houston, his hometown.
The team said he was expected to start rehab next week.