In an interview with a Houston radio station Friday, Jeff Van Gundy remained elusive about his status as speculation mounted that he is on a short list for the Nets --and Clippers-- coaching vacancies.
On Friday, several news outlets followed Mark Heisler's lead in reporting that the Nets had made "preliminary" if "brief" contact with the former Knicks and Rockets coach. But Van Gundy was having no part of the speculation. He did call the Clippers "a good team" who will "get a good coach." He did not mention the Nets specifically, for what its worth. Van Gundy, along with Bryon Scott and Brian Shaw, are reportedly on the Clippers list.
"One thing I learned long ago that talking about jobs does neither the team nor the person any good so if the team ever wants to talk about, if any team wants to talk about talking to me, that’s their right but I choose to stay out of the fray," he said when asked about possible coaching jobs. "There’s so much speculation about all these jobs and so much wrong speculation that to try to right it and all that and I just stay out of the way. But the Clippers are a good team and they’ll get a good coach. There’s no doubt about that."
Van Gundy, who still lives in Houston but is a New York native, did say he is open to returning to the bench, but he also talked about how much he likes being behind the mic on ESPN.
"Well obviously coaching has been a big part of my life and I love that part of my professional life very much," he told SportsRadio 610′s J & R Show. "Nothing like coaching NBA basketball, particularly when you’ve had really good guys who are really good players and so I was very fortunate and if something came along that made sense, in all aspects of my life, it would be great."
Meanwhile in a tweet overnight, Heisler speculated that JVG is unlikely to take the job.
@vagabondguru @mazzespn @netsdaily Well, he ain't there yet and I wouldn't bet on him coming.— Mark Heisler (@MarkHeisler) June 1, 2013
For their part, the Nets aren't talking at all. Their policy is not to comment on the search until it's completed. Still, in the past several days, speculation about the Nets job has shifted away from Lionel Hollins to Van Gundy. After the Grizzlies got to the Western Conference Finals ... without a contract extension ... Hollins was seen as a front-runner for the Brooklyn job by many in the national media.