Jeff Van Gundy has nothing to say…which might say everything

During a recent appearance on “The Waddle and Silvy Show” on ESPN 1000, Jeff Van Gundy had some things to say about Chicago’s suddenly vacant coaching position. Actually, I take that back. He had some things not to say…

Regarding his interest in the Bulls coaching job:
“I never really comment on that stuff. I always let the teams do that. It makes it simpler. I don’t really get engaged in that. I just know this, they’ve got good people running their organization who I think didn’t handle the Vinny Del Negro situation well. But that doesn’t mean that they’re not very good at what they do.”

Regarding his pro-Del Negro stance:
“I don’t know anything about it. I don’t worry about that stuff. The Bulls are a great organization. I have great respect for [vice president of basketball operations] John Paxson through the entirety of his career … And [Bulls GM] Gar Forman, I’ve known him since my brother played against him in high school way back when. So I have a lot of respect for him, too.

“I know they didn’t particularly care about what I said about Vinny, and that’s fine. Everybody has their opinion, and that’s mine.”

Saying nothing sometimes says everything. If Van Gundy wasn’t interested in the job, he could easily say so and that would be that. By choosing not to comment on his feelings but expressing admiration for the organization and its management, Jeff seems to be declaring his candidacy for the job.

And, frankly, the Bulls could do a lot worse than Van Gundy. (Seriously, are they really interested in Kevin McHale?) After all, during his days as the head man in New York and Houston, Van Gundy compiled a 430-318 record, which gives him a better winning percentage (.575) than Rudy Tomjanovich (.559), Don Nelson (.557), Larry Brown (.552), Mike Fratello (.549), Mike D’Antoni (.544), Doc Rivers (.543), Lenny Wilkins (.536), Doug Collins (.536), Scott Skiles (.519), and so on.

Van Gundy also coached the Knicks to the NBA Finals in 1998-99.

The only time Van Gundy coached a sub-.500 team was when his Rockets went 34-48 in 2005-06. Of couse, his two best players — Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady — missed a combined 60 games. That might have had something to do with it.

JVG’s teams are disciplined and play great defense. In fact — discounting the 2001-02 season, when he resigned as coach of the Knicks after only 19 games — Van Gundy’s squads have finished in the top five in Defensive Rating eight out of 10 times. And the other two times his teams finished 6th.

However, Van Gundy has never been (by the numbers) a particularly adept offensive coach. In those 10 full seasons, his teams finished somewhere between 21st and 29th in Offensive Rating eight times. The other two times his teams finished 15th.

That, more than anything else, concerns me. After all, the 2009-10 Chicago Bulls finished 11th in Defensive Rating but only 27th in Offensive Rating. I guess that makes them the perfect Van Gundy team, but I think the Bulls would greatly benefit from some improved offensive efficiency.

Can JVG help in that area? History says no. But since Van Gundy won’t comment on the subject of the Bulls’ coaching job, this is all hypothetical anyway.

For now.


8 Responses to Jeff Van Gundy has nothing to say…which might say everything

    AK Dave May 6, 2010 at 5:02 pm #

    JVG will never be as good of a coach as his brother.

    Stan “Ron Jeremy” Van Gundy has a far superior mustache. How can JVG even hope to compete? The bulls need to pick up someone who can legitimately pass for an 80’s porn star if they want to compete in the Eastern Conference next season.

  2. bobbysimmons May 6, 2010 at 5:15 pm #

    Of all the names mentioned, I don’t mind JVG. Apparently it seems he blasted Bulls brass in how the managed the VDN situation, but what better names are out there? I don’t know why Avery Johnson’s name has not been mentioned, he’d make a great coach for this team. But we all know how this’ll work out anyway, we will all speculate and argue who the Bulls are going to get, and in the end the Bulls will pick some guy no one ever thought of or was ever mentioned, a la VDN.

    the bigest bulls fan in Florida May 6, 2010 at 5:30 pm #

    the bulls will some how hire Phil Jackson, which will bring in chris bosh, with trading away luol deng and get wade or LBJ. GO Bulls.

  4. Ryan May 6, 2010 at 6:03 pm #

    The issue with the numbers is if you get better on the offensive end the defensive/rebounding numbers typically go down.

    joe May 7, 2010 at 3:43 am #

    I don’t want to watch a JVG coached Bulls team.

    Not denying interest isn’t too telling. The question is an IQ test and saying no is flunking grade.

    I mean coaching for several million a year in a top organization, having Rose and Noa, playing in a new stadium, major market and franchise with the top NBA attendance …

    He’d be a fool to disavow interest.

    Trm3 May 7, 2010 at 8:58 am #

    When I look at that list..I wouldn’t mind Jeff. I wouldn’t worry about what offensive he’d bring or lack there of..the reason the Bulls were bad offensively was because aside from Rose we didn’t have a guy that could create his shot..or when Rose would get an open shot for someone else they missed..that’s what this FA class is for and the reason we freed up we could get a guy or two that will put us over the top.

    There’s gonna be a lot of hopin and praying come July.

    BULL4EVER May 7, 2010 at 12:51 pm #

    Chris Bosh has totally lost that old Toronto feeling in Canada, and we Bulls fans can see that’s totally evident/obvious because hey no one is going to win a single lick in Toronto,NBA titles don’t even belong in this conversation.Hey Bosh have zero hesitation on going to a title-town tradition like the Bulls of course because you will win rings over there with those rising Bulls and that’s a team totally filled hope and a bright future for the next 50 years or so.GO BULLS.

    DJ May 10, 2010 at 4:57 am #

    I say: HELL NO!!! TO JEFF VAN GUNDY! I would rather have Byron Scott or other EXPERIENCE head coaches for the Bulls…

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