There is no way interim head coach Jim Boylan will be at the helm for the Milwaukee Bucks next season, which means the organization must find someone amazing to take over. The Bucks will need someone with a great track record as well as a person who knows the game of basketball inside out, and I know just the right person for the job.
Milwaukee will hire former Orlando Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy to lead the Bucks during the 2013-14 NBA season and beyond. Van Gundy has coached for two teams at the professional level as well as many collegiate teams since the early 1980s. He has been the NBA All-Star Game head coach twice (2005, 2010), coached in three NBA Conference Finals (2005 Miami Heat, 2008, 2009) and led the Magic to the NBA Finals where they were unfortunately defeated by the Los Angeles Lakers.
Why would the Bucks want to go after Van Gundy? The 53-year-old has proven to be a top notch talent who has taken mediocre teams with plenty of flaws and made them great. The Heat finished the 2002-03 season with a 25-57 record, which forced legendary head coach Pat Riley to resign. When Van Gundy took over the very next season, Miami went 42-40 and almost defeated the top seeded Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. When he took over for the Magic in 2007, he turned a 40-win team into a 52-win team in his first year and led Orlando to their first division championship since the 1995-96 season.
Van Gundy is also capable of getting the best out of his players so that the team can excel as a whole. Milwaukee’s newly acquired shooting guard J.J. Redick, who played under Van Gundy in Orlando for several years, saw his numbers consistently improve season-by-season once the head coach took over for the Magic. Redick believes that he would not be the player he is today if it was not for Van Gundy’s superior coaching ability.
“Stan’s my guy I owe a great deal to Stan,” Redick said during his first press conference with the Milwaukee media. “I feel like I wouldn’t be who I am as a player or person if it wasn’t for my five years with him. He’s had an enormous influence on me on and off the court.”
If the Bucks want to re-sign Redick in the off-season, something they are clearly desperate to do after giving up so much for him in the trade, then hiring Van Gundy as the head coach would be a great start. Van Gundy is also someone Milwaukee should be interested in because he will improve the young players, such as Ersan Ilyasova and Larry Sanders, and make them better which in return will improve the team greatly. Also, if Brandon Jennings is on the team next season then he might very well benefit the most from what Van Gundy has to offer.
Obviously, it is a bit early to be talking about this considering Milwaukee still has the rest of the 2012-13 regular season, plus hopefully a magical run through the playoffs left. However, there are several teams that will be interested in hiring Van Gundy, which means Bucks general manager John Hammond must get an early start on the recruiting process.