Was Jeff Van Gundy sending a signal Sunday ... about owners and spending?

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Word is that Jeff Van Gundy wants back in coaching and he seemed to signal Sunday just what kind of owner he wants to work for, one who is willing to spend to win. Van Gundy and Mike Breen got into a lengthy conversation about winning and the financial restraints of the new CBA while broadcasting the Bulls-Lakers game.

Van Gundy started by criticizing the Bulls decision to let Omer Asik walk without getting anything in return. Then, as transcribed and published by Blog-a-Bull, our sister site, he and Breen talked in general about ownership, winning and money. He didn't mention the Nets or Mikhail Prokhorov, but bottom line for JVG: "If you want to win championships, you're going to have to spend."

Breen: It's going to be very difficult, especially with the new CBA penalties, to pay that kind of money to a player that's only going to be a backup.

JVG: Well then you don't want to win. You don't want to win. I listened to the Bulls in the off-season. They said they didn't make that decision for financial reasons, that it was purely a basketball decision.

Breen: Well that can't be true.

JVG: Right! There's no way you can let big, young talent go if you want to compete for a championship. The reason teams go in the Luxury Tax is to try and win it. That's where Miami is, that's where Dallas has been. The same with the Korver trade. You can't give a great shooter like that for nothing. It's not my money, so I'm not saying the Bulls and Jerry Reinsdorf should spend the money, but I'm saying that it impacts your ability to win.

Breen: Well there's no doubt....

JVG: If you want to win championships, you're going to have to spend. Because their greatest strength was their frontcourt depth, and Derrick Rose.

Breen: Unfortunately I think that's going to be more of the norm [due to the new CBA].

JVG: The Lakers will spend! They're going over the luxury tax. They will spend $100m in tax next year.

Breen: But the Lakers could've signed some extra help down the stretch of this season, and didn't do so because of the financial implications.

JVG: Well who's out there now who can make a difference? Asik makes a difference. I can understand not signing people just to sign people. But when you've got difference-makers, and you want to win it...and I think this goes back to what Reggie Rose was talking about...if you want to win it, then you're going to have to pay.

Van Gundy said after Avery Johnson was fired that he wouldn't talk to the Nets as long as P.J. Carlesimo was interim head coach. The off-season is, of course, a different story, and JVG is reportedly interested in finding out more about about the Brooklyn job.

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