Stan Van Gundy wouldn’t want to coach ‘extremely dysfunctional’ Knicks, says Nets job is better

In a radio interview, longtime coach-turned-Turner Sports analyst Stan Van Gundy said that he does not want to coach the New York Knicks. He also says he’s not sure if his brother, Jeff, who spent more than a decade with the Knicks as both an assistant coach and a head coach, would be open to a reunion.

“I’m not really interested in the New York Knicks, no,” Van Gundy said on ESPN Radio, per The Athletic’s Mike Vorkunov. “First of all there’s a family history there. If anyone would be interested in that — and I’m not sure he is either — it would be my brother. And No. 2, I just — I’ve said this, I’m different than a lot of coaches in looking at jobs. To me it’s all about who you work for and who you work with. Everything I’ve seen over the last few years with that organization says that it’s extremely dysfunctional.” 

Van Gundy also said the other job in the city is better: “Of the two, the Nets are the better job. There’s no question about that right now. The organization has been more stable. They’ve won more games. They have more talent.”

Three thoughts:

It should not be particularly controversial to call New York “extremely dysfunctional” or less attractive to a coach than Brooklyn. Anyone who is thinking about taking that job has to weigh the opportunity to coach on a big stage — and potentially receive an enormous paycheck — against the fact that the Knicks have had seven coaches in the last eight years. Van Gundy is merely being honest, which he can afford to do because he doesn’t want the job. Mike Miller is still the coach of the team! Van Gundy told ESPN Radio that Miller “was doing a very good job.” It’s not all that abnormal to look past an interim coach, but in this case it has been awkward from the beginning. In February, the New York Post’s Marc Berman reported that Jeff was on New York’s short list. This was not, however, the first time in recent years that he has been linked to the organization. He famously will not talk about coaching positions that are not vacant, and I doubt he was impressed when branding consultant Steve Stoute talked about hiring a new staff on “First Take.” There is a personal relationship here, too — Miller was on Jeff’s Team USA coaching staff in 2018. 

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