Chris Paul was 'not a fan' of Vinny Del Negro, according to reports

Harry How

It came as no surprise that Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul had a say in whether the team was to retain coach Vinny Del Negro.

One piece of the Los Angeles Clippers' decision not to re-sign Vinny Del Negro was point guard Chris Paul's refusal to back his head coach, reports CBS Sports' Ken Berger and Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski.

All along, it was widely believed that the Clippers would put a great deal of weight in Paul's opinion in the matter, and Paul's apparent lack of confidence in Del Negro might've been one of the biggest keys to the Clippers' decision, which was reported by Wojnarowski on Tuesday.

As a free-agent-to-be, Paul's decision to stay with Los Angeles appears likely, though the team certainly helped themselves by deciding not to re-up on Del Negro, who went 128-101 in three seasons with the Clippers. The decision also wasn't helped by Del Negro's failure to coach his talented squad past the first round of the playoffs this season -- they lost in six games to the Memphis Grizzlies despite winning the first two games of the series.

For more insight on the Del Negro firing: Visit Clips Nation

Paul will certainly be in touch with Donald Sterling and the Clippers' front office as they search for a new head coach.

Berger reports that Paul thinks highly of Golden State Warriors assistant Mike Malone, who coached Paul with the Hornets. Wojnarowski's sources said that Memphis coach Lionel Hollins is a target for the Clippers.

Paul's former coach, Byron Scott, is also without a job and could be a candidate, USA Today's Sam Amick reported. Amick also lists Jeff and Stan Van Gundy as candidates, as well as former Phoenix coach Alvin Gentry and former Portland coach Nate McMillan.

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