Jeff Van Gundy Rumors
It was one of the biggest meetings of Sprewell’s life—the result of which could lead to the Knicks trading for the then-29-year-old, giving him a second chance and changing the course of his career—and Van Gundy expected the Wisconsin native to be dressed to the nines, ready to court his newest suitors. Sprewell wore red basketball shorts and a wife beater. “I was immediately impressed by that, in an odd way,” Van Gundy says now. “I immediately knew that this guy is who he is. He was never trying to impress somebody else by what he did or what he said—he was being himself.”
What happened when Tomjanovich stepped down and Jeff Van Gundy took over as head coach? Steve Francis: The whole momentum shifted to “stop that ball,” buddy. Just dump it into Yao every play. What Steve do? Dump the ball into Yao. Was Steve mad? Hell yeah. Did Steve say something? Hell no. Respect for that owner who gave me that money. He said, Here Steve, $100 million. Alright, I’m not going to disrespect that man’s business. That’s his business, not the coach who doesn’t know that the owner gave me the opportunity to have a stable home and a bag of money. So I’m cool.
What happened with that infamous Super Bowl incident when Van Gundy suspended you? Steve Francis: He said I went to the Super Bowl. I’m in the house, I had a G-4 waiting at the clearport after the Super Bowl in Houston. I said Hey, I got a plane on the runway, I’ll come after the Super Bowl, and I’ll meet you the same night in Phoenix. Cool. The team left—I stayed in my house, all my friends came over. I had a Super Bowl party at my house. Then I get on the plane, I got some Popeye’s on there, got some Dom Perignon on there, everything’s straight. I’m ready. My phone ringin’ like shit, all my teammates calling me. They’re like, You know Jeff mad? I’m like for what? They’re like, You ain’t on the plane. I say, Y’all heard me tell him I had my own plane right? They’re like Yeah, but now he’s mad. I was like, Alright cool, I’ll see y’all tonight. After that Jeff said, Don’t come. I was like Why don’t come? My plane’s on the runway. He was like, Nah don’t come, you should have been on the team plane. I was like I told you I got a plane. He said don’t come, so I stayed, and the next day I went to practice—I was mad, I knew the media was going to say I was there [at the Super Bowl].
“I have utmost respect for his knowledge of the game and his preparation. He’s an incredible motivator. So that’s shocking to me and it will remain shocking to me, as long as he’s sitting next to me. I think if I was owner or general manager or running a team, it would be his call, meaning Jeff’s call, to say no to me, because he’s absolutely that great of a coach in my opinion. “I’m surprised that watching his body of work, playing for him twice, and witnessing him as a coach, in my opinion, a genius, still around and nobody has made a move to hire him, whether he wants it or not. I’ve been around coaching and I’ve witnessed coaching and this guy is an absolute gem.”
The ESPN analyst and former Golden State Warriors head coach was calling Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Toronto Raptors and Cleveland Cavaliers when fellow analyst Jeff Van Gundy started to talk about the surprisingly strong play of Cavs forward Richard Jefferson. After finishing his analysis, Jackson jumped in and threw his former Warriors player under the bus. Jeff Van Gundy: “Don’t talk about what you need to do to win. Do what you need to do to win. Richard Jefferson, great loose ball play and has always been a terrific finisher on the break.” Jackson “Guy’s a pro. Stays ready. Played for me in Golden State. Cost us a series in San Antonio, missing two free throws, but I’m not holding onto that. Still has plenty in the tank and playing at a high level for this Cavaliers team.”
Former Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy, speaking on Sirius XM Radio, said he’s heard that Hornacek won’t be saddled with Jackson’s beloved system. That would be an upset considering Jackson just held a triangle seminar with the majority of the Knicks roster. “The things I’ve heard is that he’s not going to be required to run the triangle,” Jeff Van Gundy said. “Which is smart from the standpoint that he’s never taught it before. So you don’t want to come in trying that you’ve never played in or taught. I’m interested in that. But I think it’s an inspired choice.”
Tommy Beer: Jeff Van Gundy calls Jeff Hornacek an “inspiring hire” and says the “tie in” to Phil Jackson is that Phil had great respect for Jerry Sloan. – RT: SiriusXM NBA Radio: AUDIO: Jeff Van Gundy has heard that Jeff Hornacek won’t be required to run the triangle with the #Knicks Listen –> http://bit.ly/27BBPe1