NBA rumors are swirling around Jeff Van Gundy. He has been attached to several teams that are in need of a new head coach. When the regular season ended, many believed that the Los Angeles Lakers would be a great destination for Van Gundy. At the time, he refused to talk about the position because of his personal policy. According to USA Today, the Lakers and Van Gundy have already had discussions. The popular broadcaster is said to be interested.
Jeff Van Gundy is a very honorable man. He has a personal policy where he refuses to even discuss a head coaching position in the NBA if it has not been officially vacated. That was the situation with the Los Angeles Lakers. While the belief was that Byron Scott was going to be ousted, Van Gundy refused to even mention the situation until the organization made it official. It’s a sign of respect towards his peers.
Byron Scott has now been officially fired by the Los Angeles Lakers. Some are surprised, others are not. Those that are surprised felt that Scott had bought himself at least another season by allowing Kobe Bryant to do as he pleased during his final season in the NBA. That was something that management had wanted for their longtime franchise player. Those that weren’t surprised saw the great divide between Scott and younger foundation pieces (D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, and Julius Randle).
Los Angeles Lakers owner and vice president Jim Buss is hoping to make a big splash with the head coaching hire. He wants someone that will excite the NBA. He needs someone that can convince Lakers fans that he deserve more time to rebuild the franchise that his father built into a dynasty. Buss is supposed to step down from his position if Los Angeles cannot advance to the second round of the playoffs next season.
When it comes to being a big splash hiring, Jeff Van Gundy certainly fits the bill. He was already popular with NBA fans when he was the head coach of the New York Knicks and Houston Rockets. Van Gundy became an even bigger darling in the eyes of the fans when he showed his hilariously entertaining personality as a broadcaster. Los Angeles Lakers fans might be willing to give Jim Buss more time if he were able to secure the services of Van Gundy.
As far as being a fit, Jeff Van Gundy might not be the perfect guy for the Los Angeles Lakers. Based on his history, he might be better off coaching a veteran team that is already competing for an NBA Championship. He can help put them over the top. With the Lakers, he’s going to spend years trying to get D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, and Julius Randle to learn how to play the right way.
Another thing working against the Los Angeles Lakers is the fact that they are competing with the Houston Rockets. Both teams really want Jeff Van Gundy. The advantage that the Rockets have on the Lakers is the fact that Van Gundy and his family live in the Houston area. He has long been hesitant about uprooting them because they are really comfortable where they are at.
The Los Angeles Lakers cannot be ruled out. Money talks in this world. The chance to coach one of the most prestigious franchises in the history of the NBA might be something that really appeals to Jeff Van Gundy. If Jim Buss can convince him to leave the broadcasting booth to run his sideline, then that might give him the weapon that he needs to fend off Jeanie Buss and Phil Jackson for control of the Lakers.
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