Apparently a new team rule was implemented by Vinny that forbid eating food pregame in the locker room. Some of the players broke this rule and were fined. The original players reported to have broken the stupid rule were Larry Hughes, Tyrus Thomas, and Joakim Noah. No surprises there. Now there are some reports that up to 5 of the players broke the rules. Either way the rule makes no sense. If you don't treat the players as adults, how can you expect them to act as such. Mike McGraw of the Daily Herald reports that the players are feeling the same way:
"To recap, Vinny Del Negro added a team rule this season about not eating in the locker room pregame. He's trying to preach accountability and professionalism, and that rule is probably meant to emphasize that players should be getting ready for the game when they're at the arena and eat dinner before getting on the bus.Vinny needs to control his locker room, but at the same time treat his players with some respect. I know this is a minor story and I shouldn't make too much of it, but I think the way he is treating the players off the court reflects how he treats them on the court. They seem just as confused with his "rules" off the court as they do with his "game plans" on it.
The players I talked to seemed annoyed by the rule and getting fined. Players eating in the locker room before games is a very common sight in the NBA; including the visitors locker room at the United Center. Ninety percent of the time, it's chicken tenders, by the way.
Maybe more players were eating in New Jersey because the quality of hotels available in East Rutherford aren't quite what they're used to in other cities. So while Vinny sees this rule one way, the players wonder why they're not being treated like adults. I'm sure everyone will get over it. I've heard Del Negro tries to go out of his way to communicate with the players and not hold any grudges.
Of course, a sidebar to this story is that this stuff is usually kept private, but someone chose to leak the news. I would imagine the Bulls have a suspect in mind and have already been trying to trade him."
On a side note, we all obviously think it was Hughes that leaked the story and he is the one being shopped around. They can't get rid of him soon enough.