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Berger: Brooklyn Nets prefer Jeff Van Gundy to brother Stan


Ken Berger keeps updating his column on Nets coaching candidates and has now added Jeff Van Gundy to the list, writing that although Stan Van Gundy has taken himself out of the running, Jeff may want to return to coaching. Berger writes...

Staying in the family, coaching industry sources believe Stan's brother, Jeff Van Gundy, is getting closer to entertaining offers to return to coaching. Would a high-profile job in New York, in a conference where defense still carries the day, be enough to lure him away from the broadcast microphone? The Nets plan to find out. League coaching sources told Friday that the Nets actually prefer Jeff over Stan and have a genuine interest in speaking with the current ESPN/ABC announcer and former Knicks coach about the job.

Similarly, Adrian Wojnarowski writes that JVG is interested in the Nets job but will not discuss it unless and until there is an opening or an understanding that P.J. Carlesimo isn't going to be the head coach.

"I would never comment on a job that was filled," Van Gundy told Yahoo! Sports. "I was an interim coach. I hope P.J. has great success there. He's someone I respect greatly."

Meanwhile, Berger remains firm in his belief that the interest between the Nets and Phil Jackson is "mutual" and that things could move quickly on that front.

League coaching sources told Friday that the Nets will, in fact, reach out to Jackson to inquire about his interest and possibly arrange a meeting to discuss the particulars. While the Nets' front office is taking a patient posture and isn't planning for a fast-paced search, the Jackson aspect of the equation has the potential to move quickly in one direction or another.

Berger later tweeted "If the Nets hired Jeff Van Gundy, coaching industry sources believe strongly he would hire Knicks icon Patrick Ewing as an assistant." The CBS writer also dismisses two other names thrown around: John Calipari who has said he's not interested and David Blatt, an American citizen who was until recently the coach of the Russian national team and highly respected in international basketball.