It's a Vinny Del Negro I do not know.

He's at a loss for cliches and coach-speak Tuesday over lunch, pausing to take a deep breath every time he mentions Chauncey Billups' name.

The veteran guard has been active in a Los Angeles uniform for only 20 games, but Del Negro says, "People have no idea what he has meant to this group."

Somewhere beyond the half-eaten bowl of soup, small talk and concern about how he might reenergize his team, Del Negro is now on the telephone talking to team trainer Jasen Powell.