Jeff Van Gundy is the Rockets’ top choice for their next head coach

May 11, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; ESPN broadcaster Jeff Van Gundy during game four of the second round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

This season for the Houston Rockets has been a disaster. After making the Western Conference Finals a little less than a year ago, the team this year found themselves barely hanging on for a playoff spot. From failed acquisitions in the offseason, chemistry issues and having your coach fired the team has stuggled, yet they made the Western Playoffs as the 8th seed against the Golden State Warriors.

After getting blown out in Game 1 and losing Game 2 without Stephen Curry, it is clear that the Rockets season will be over sooner rather than later. With that being said it looks like the team will be looking for a new coach this offseason. One of the names being thrown around is Jeff Van Gundy.

From Adrian Wojnarowski and Chris Mannix of The Vertical:

“Jeff Van Gundy is at the top of the Houston Rockets’ list of potential candidates along with Thibodeau, league sources said. Jeff Van Gundy resigned as Rockets coach in 2007 after four seasons and still lives in Houston.”

Van Gundy, along with former Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, is scheduled to interview for the Minnesota Timberwolves coaching vacancy. Like stated earlier, the Houston Rockets will not begin the coaching search until their postseason run ends.

“The Rockets won’t begin a coaching search until the team’s postseason ends ….. Jeff Van Gundy doesn’t discuss jobs with teams who have a coach in place, and J.B. Bickerstaff has been the Rockets’ interim coach since the firing of Kevin McHale in November.”

Jeff Van Gundy has a career coaching record of 430-318 with the New York Knicks (1995-2002) and the Houston Rockets (2003-2007). Since Van Gundy currently lives in Houston with his family and is familiar with the organization, this would be the best scenario.

The Houston Rockets are attempting to rebound from a disastrous season. The teams roster on paper has the potential to go far in the playoffs and I think with his experienced coaching and knowledge of the game when he does color-commentary for ESPN, this seems to be a great fit between the two parties. Maybe some familiarity can help the team for next year.


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