Even though the Golden State Warriors would prefer Steve Kerr, it appears Stan Van Gundy would be the next best candidate. It is rumored that Van Gundy is at the very top of the list for Golden State’s new head coach position, especially since Kerr is inching close to the job with the New York Knicks.
The Warriors have all the signs of being a perfect fit for Kerr. However, the one asset they don’t have is Phil Jackson, who seems to be the main attraction for Kerr in New York. Golden State’s loss on Kerr may not be the worst thing in the world considering Van Gundy is the likely consolation prize.
For those of you who may have forgot, Van Gundy is an excellent coach with a proven track record. The 54-year-old has coached in three NBA Conference Finals, which includes leading the Orlando Magic to the NBA Finals in 2009. Even better, he is a great coaching mind who has taken mediocre teams with plenty of flaws and made them great. He took over for a bad Miami Heat team in the early 2000s and changed them from a 25-57 record to a 42-40 record in one season. Also, the Magic won 52 games in his first year as head coach. It is safe to say that he was a big part of the team winning its first division championship since the 1995-06 season.
It is quite astonishing that Van Gundy has not been hired since Orlando let him go in 2012. In my opinion, he is one of the more underrated coaches in recent memory. The fact is Golden State would be incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to hire him.
So, how likely is it that the Warriors agree to terms with the man?
Kerr most likely going to New York and Golden State’s need to make a headline-grabbing hire means it would be a shock if Van Gundy were not named the new head coach within the next couple of weeks. The only issue is that Van Gundy has stated he is not sure if he wants to come back to coaching at this time. An enticing offer would change that in a heartbeat. Not to mention, the Warriors have enough talent to reach the NBA Finals with the right set of personnel, which certainly has to weigh heavily on Van Gundy’s mind.
In my opinion, it is a win-win for both parties. The Warriors need to bring in a talented head coach who can rally the troops around him. Meanwhile, Van Gundy does not want to completely give up coaching before taking another legitimate stab at a NBA championship.