Could Mike Breen be losing another broadcast partner to an NBA coaching gig?
Two years ago, ESPN’s main three-man NBA booth was whittled to two when analyst Mark Jackson was hired as the head coach of the Golden State Warriors. Now, it’s Breen’s other booth-mate Jeff Van Gundy who may be returning to the sidelines next season.
Teams such as the Los Angeles Clippers and Brooklyn Nets have reached out to Van Gundy regarding their vacant head coaching positions.
“If anything ever makes sense for a team and for myself where there is a fit of vision and values, I’d obviously consider it,” said Van Gundy, during a conference call with reporters on Tuesday to promote ABC’s coverage of the NBA Finals, which tips off Thursday at 9 p.m. ”And ESPN has been, you know, so generous in allowing me to do that.”
As a former coach of the New York Knicks and Houston Rockets, Van Gundy’s name comes up annually this time of year for open coaching positions. However, with high-profile jobs available such as the Clippers and Nets, this summer could be the one that finally lures him back to the sidelines.
Van Gundy remained mum when he was asked specifically about those two jobs, saying that right now he’s focused on the upcoming series. “One thing I’ve learned is I don’t look too far ahead. I don’t try to plan my life out.”
Van Gundy was also asked his thoughts on the in-game interviews all coaches must do between quarters with sideline reporters, something he said no coach enjoys, with West champion San Antonio Spurs’ coach Greg Popovich being the chief among those. “I used to like it when they had the boom mics in the huddle because you didn’t have to do anything different,” he said. “And because they are distracted, I don’t think those [interviews] are particularly revealing.”
He suggested instead that sideline reporters could interview the head official instead or even a random fan.