Sports

Jeff Van Gundy avoided James Harden mess by staying away from Rockets

Turns out Jeff Van Gundy, who still lives in Houston, was wise not going through with the Rockets’ head-coaching position.

Van Gundy, the former Knicks head coach, interviewed there and sources indicated he probably could have had the job but was indifferent toward it. The Rockets wound up going with Stephen Silas. It’s unclear if Van Gundy saw the deep turmoil ahead.

The Rockets are the NBA’s biggest mess with Russell Westbrook’s trade demand leading him to Washington and James Harden reporting to camp late and wanting out — preferably to Brooklyn.

Van Gundy, who was Tom Thibodeau’s Knicks boss in the late 1990s/early 2000s, appeared on the MSG Network morning show and did not rule out a coaching return even if it means leaving his plush broadcasting gig.

“I’ve pursued jobs that I’ve wanted that I didn’t get,” Van Gundy said. “And I’ve been offered jobs that I didn’t think were a good fit for me. But you never say never. I’m fortunate, in that when you have a job, especially in today’s times, you’re thankful and grateful. But if something comes along that I think is better, I’ll certainly pursue it. But right now, I feel real fortunate to be able to work at ESPN/ABC.”

The Post reported Westbrook and Harden weren’t all in on Van Gundy, but that was just the tip of the iceberg in their disgruntlement.

Jeff Van Gundy Rockets
Jeff Van Gundy
Getty Images

Meanwhile, Van Gundy is happy for his former Knicks assistant.

“I’m thrilled for Tom and his entire family because he bleeds orange and blue,’’ Van Gundy said. “He has since he was a kid. When he was an assistant here, when we all worked together, he gave everything he had to help us try to win and win big. And he’ll do the same thing as a head coach. He’s an elite head coach. The coaching is going to be at an elite level. And his intensity and passion I think meshes very well with what New York City and the Knick fan is all about.”


Ex-Knick shooting guard Damyean Dotson, who signed with the Cavaliers last month, had an interesting experience returning to the Garden Wednesday morning for shootaround after playing three seasons with the club.

“It was just weird, man,” said the 2017 second-round pick from Houston. “I’m on the other side now. It’s all I know. I came here as a rookie and now being on other side of the locker rooms.”


Reggie Bullock was set to start at small forward over Alec Burks, who is out for personal reasons. Burks started the first two contests

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New York Post

The New York Post is a daily tabloid newspaper in New York City. The Post also operates NYPost.com, the celebrity gossip site PageSix.com and the entertainment site Decider.com.

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