The long-awaited end of Vinny Del Negro’s tenure with the Bulls┬ácame Thursday, but not the way anyone expected. Rather than wait until later this week to be axed, the maligned head coach quit his job so John Paxson, Gar Forman and owner Jerry Reinsdorf wouldn’t get the satisfaction of firing him.

“My termination with the Bulls was inevitable, so I figured I might as well make the best of┬áthis crappy situation,” said Del Negro. “It’s kind of like in high school when I knew I was going to get canned at the Dairy Queen so I just stopped showing up for my shifts.”

Critics say Del Negro should have waited and taken his termination like a man.

“Pax, Gar and Reinsdorf can kiss my ass,” said Del Negro. “John f-ing Wooden wouldn’t have won with the lineup they gave me. I feel sorry for whoever they hire next.”

For their part, the Bulls are already considering Del Negro’s replacement.

“There are a lot of great coaches out there,” said Paxson. “Take that guy who’s turned around the Bucks for example. I’m sure he’d be a solid candidate to take our team to the next level.”

By Matthew Wood and Brad Zibung