Jeff Van Gundy Rumors
Rivers is one of several coaches with Knicks ties who could re-surface this summer. Mark Jackson would be in play for the Knicks job and is said to be interested in coaching again in the right situation. The same is true of Jeff Van Gundy, who is satisfying his coaching Jones by being in charge of the U.S. national team in qualification rounds.
For USA Basketball, the first World Cup qualifying test is out of the way. Jameel Warney and Reggie Hearn each scored 17 points and the United States opened qualifying for the 2019 Basketball World Cup with an 85-78 victory over Puerto Rico on Thursday night.
Xavier Munford scored 12 points and Markel Brown added 10 for the Americans, who trailed 57-51 late in the third. A 10-0 run late in that quarter gave the U.S. the lead, and a 22-12 burst in the fourth decided things. “Those of our players that have played in a FIBA game, I think knew what to expect,” U.S. coach Jeff Van Gundy said. “But those that had not played in a FIBA game, it was harder for them initially to adapt and adjust. We got hit with haymakers early, and I was really proud of our guys.”
Jeff Van Gundy and Steve Clifford – both recently out of college – were aspiring coaches. They hit it off and stayed in touch. In 2000, Van Gundy, then New York Knicks coach, hired Clifford into the NBA as an advance scout. Then, in 2001, Van Gundy had an opening on the bench. Assistant Tom Thibodeau kept asking Van Gundy, ‘What are you thinking?’ ”It wasn’t a question, it was an admonishment. As in, “The guy to hire is right down the hall!” pointing to Clifford’s office.
The prospect of Golden State losing four games in one playoff series, Van Gundy said, “seems almost impossible to me.” “Minus a major injury,” he continued, “I just can’t see how a team could score well enough against them by putting offensive players out there and still have enough defenders to be able to guard them.”