Jeff Van Gundy is getting his first taste of coaching in more than a decade, writes Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. The former Knicks and Rockets head coach is guiding the U.S. men’s basketball team through the qualifying stages for the 2019 World Cup. Gregg Popovich will take a star-studded team into that competition, but first Van Gundy has to get through the AmeriCup tournament with a young, unheralded roster.
Van Gundy has settled into a job as an outspoken analyst on ABC and ESPN, but the urge to coach hasn’t gone away. Wojnarowski states that he repeatedly turned down offers so his family wouldn’t have to move out of Houston, but in the last few years he has become more open to a return. He interviewed for a few jobs, but the right situation hasn’t happened. “One thing you can’t recreate, the competition and camaraderie,” Van Gundy said. “No matter what you do, you’re not going to have that same feeling of a great win. To me, coming into the locker room for the first five minutes after a great win, with a staff you love, and a team you respected, there was nothing like that. That’s what you miss.”
There’s more news from around the world of basketball:
- ESPN’s Bobby Marks has compiled a list of all the significant dates on the NBA calendar from now through the end of the regular season. Some important ones include the first team practices on September 26, the deadline for accepting qualifying offers on October 1, the deadline for extensions to rookie contracts on October 16, the day all contracts become guaranteed on January 7 and the trade deadline on February 8.
- Many fans are uncertain about the details of the two-way contracts introduced in the new collective bargaining agreement, so Chris Reichert of 2 Ways and 10 Days has answered a list of frequently asked questions. Among them: two-way deals are open to players with three years or fewer of NBA service, they don’t count against the salary cap and they can be used even by the four teams without direct G League affiliates.