The Brooklyn Nets are reportedly focused in on Jeff Van Gundy to serve as the team’s next coach if talks with Phil Jackson don’t work out.
But just like rumors surrounding former Lakers coach Phil Jackson, it may be the case that the Nets want Van Gundy more than he wants them. A source close to the team told ESPN that the Nets hold Van Gundy in high regard and consider him a top candidate behind Jackson.
But Van Gundy may have reservations, ESPN notes:
“Another league source, however, told ESPNNewYork.com that Van Gundy, an ESPN NBA analyst, needs to learn more about Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov and the inner workings of the organization before determining his level of interest. The source said Van Gundy, the former New York Knicks and Houston Rockets coach, likely would prefer taking over the Nets after the season, not during it.”
Van Gundy has said he may be willing to take the Nets job after the season, but isn’t interested in moving in on a job that’s already filled by interim head coach P.J. Carlesimo,
“I would never comment on a job that was filled,” Van Gundy told Yahoo! Sports. “I was an interim coach. I hope P.J. has great success there. He’s someone I respect greatly.”
The Nets fired coach Avery Johnson on Thursday after a 14-14 start, putting Carlesimo into the role on an interim basis.
Jackson is reportedly the top choice for the Brooklyn Nets, but he hasn’t made a commitment whether to come back. Jeff Van Gundy would be considered the team’s second choice.