Rockets To Interview Jeff Van Gundy On Wednesday

The Rockets will interview ABC/ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy on Wednesday for their open head coaching job, reports Marc Stein of The New York Times (Twitter link). Van Gundy has been linked to the vacancy for some time and was expected to meet with the team once his broadcasting duties wrapped up for the season.

Van Gundy has extensive NBA head coaching experience, having led the Knicks from 1996-2001 and the Rockets from 2003-07. He had a 248-172 (.590) record in New York and led the team to the NBA Finals in 1999, then posted a 182-146 (.555) mark during his four years in Houston.

While Van Gundy has worked as a broadcaster for more than a decade, he does have some recent head coaching experience, having led a USA Basketball team made up of G-Leaguers during the qualifiers for the 2019 World Cup.

It remains to be seen just how serious the Rockets and Van Gundy are about a potential reunion. There has been some speculation that he may be the club’s frontrunner to replace Mike D’Antoni.

It’s worth noting that Daryl Morey had just been promoted to his general manager role by the franchise in 2007 when the club parted ways with JVG. However, that move was believed to be spearheaded by former Rockets owner Les Alexander, with Morey said to be interested in re-hiring Van Gundy back in 2016.

So far, the Rockets have interviewed Tyronn Lue, Kenny Atkinson, Stephen Silas, David Vanterpool, and Wes Unseld Jr. for their head coaching position. A report on Monday indicated that team officials had also met with Rockets player development coach John Lucas about the job, though Stein says today (via Twitter) that Lucas’ formal interview is expected to take place after Van Gundy’s.

It’s not clear yet whether or not the Rockets will expand their pool of candidates beyond the seven currently being linked to the opening.

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