Report: Jeff Van Gundy candidate for Pelicans’ coaching job


Jeff Van Gundy could have had any number of coaching jobs over the past seven years, but he’s been hanging out in the broadcast booth, enjoying that relatively stress-free lifestyle while still cashing some healthy checks. What would it take to get him out of that gig and back on the sidelines?

Coaching Anthony Davis?

You can throw Van Gundy’s hat in the ring for the New Orleans head coaching job, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.

Jeff Van Gundy has emerged as a candidate for the New Orleans Pelicans’ head-coaching position, according to league sources. ‎Sources told this week that the ESPN analyst has expressed interest in the opening and is under consideration for the job, which opened when the Pelicans dismissed Monty Williams earlier this month.

Alvin Gentry has interviewed for the job and appears to be the early frontrunner. However, at the same time the Pelicans are waiting to see the status of Tom Thibodeau in Chicago. It’s an internal issue: Pelicans GM Dell Demps reportedly likes Gentry — and he is driving the search; while Saints GM (and Pelicans executive) Mickey Loomis has the fascination with the hard-driving Thibodeau.

Van Gundy has 11 years of NBA coaching experience and took the Knicks to the NBA Finals. Van Gundy would bring the defensive mindset the Pelicans need — they were 22nd in the NBA on that end of the court.

The bottom line here is simple: Davis is a transformative talent, in five years (if not sooner) he will be recognized as the best player on the planet (I’d say he’s third right now and is just 22). Everyone in the coaching community recognizes this, and realizes Davis is a guy you can win titles with.