THURSDAY, 9:34am: League sources tell Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders that they expect Van Gundy would require an arrangement similar to the one that brother Stan Van Gundy has with the Pistons in which he coaches and runs the front office, as Kyler writes in his NBA AM piece. That’d be a tough sell in New Orleans, where GM Dell Demps and executive VP of basketball operations Mickey Loomis both have degrees of front office power.
WEDNESDAY, 6:40pm: The Pelicans interviewed Jeff Van Gundy on Tuesday regarding the team’s vacant head coaching position, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports. The two sides had previously spoken over the phone, but this was their first face-to-face meeting, Wojnarowski’s sources relayed. For now, New Orleans’ officials and Van Gundy are just beginning the process of getting to know each other, the Yahoo! scribe notes.
New Orleans GM Dell Demps had previously met with another candidate, Warriors assistant coach Alvin Gentry, in the Bay Area prior to the start of the Western Conference finals, Wojnarowski writes. It remains possible that Demps will schedule another meeting with Gentry in the near future, Wojnarowski adds. The Warriors will only grant permission for Gentry to interview between playoff series.
The former head coach and current broadcaster admitted that he was intrigued by the idea of coaching young superstar Anthony Davis, John Reid of the Times Picayune writes. ”There is no one who ever coached that wouldn’t want to coach a great player with great character,” Van Gundy said during an appearance on the Dan Patrick Show. “And so I’ve been able to do that in my life. I’ve already coached a player with a great character and you know how important that is if you want to win big in a situation. I had Patrick Ewing, Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady in Houston, Charles Oakley and all these guys. Anybody who that says, nah … I wouldn’t want to coach [Davis] who is a top-five player and a great person, I wouldn’t believe that if someone said that.”
Van Gundy reached the playoffs nine times as coach in New York and Houston, including a trip to the NBA Finals, the Eastern Conference finals, and he made three trips to the conference semifinals. He won 50-plus games twice in four seasons with the Rockets. His career coaching record is 430-318.