It might seem that the Golden State Warriors are rushing to hire TNT analyst Steve Kerr to be their next head coach, but reports to that effect are being disputed by some of the top NBA writers in the country.
The Warriors are interested in Stan Van Gundy, who has won 61 percent of his games as an NBA head coach.
The New York Daily News' Frank Isola quoted a league source early Wednesday saying that "the Warriors job is his if Steve Kerr wants it."
It doesn't make a great deal of sense that the club would rush to hand the job to the former Suns' general manager despite his having never coached a game in NBA or college. Isola covers the New York Knicks who, before Golden State fired Mark Jackson, were on the verge of signing Kerr to coach under new club president and Kerr mentor Phil Jackson.
Well, it turns out that the Warriors most likely aren't just waiting on Kerr to choose between their post and the Knicks' job. They apparently know how many candidates they'd like to interview and that they are quite interested in one veteran NBA head man.
Yahoo Sports' Marc J. Spears wrote Wednesday that the Warriors have contacted former Miami Heat and Orlando Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy about the coaching job. Spears reported that Van Gundy, who had no interest in the Los Angeles Lakers job, is apparently interested in the Golden State job.
(Ted Sillanpaa's "Overtime" blog appears daily at http://overtime.blogs.pressdemocrat.com/)
Kerr's agent, Mike Tannenbaum, said Wednesday that the former Chicago Bulls and San Antonio Spurs guard would speak to his family and make a decision soon. That report came from Diamond Leung of the Bay Area News Group. The agent wouldn't comment on rumors that the Warriors had contacted Kerr on Tuesday.
Kerr, 48, resides in San Diego and has connections to Warriors co-owner Joe Lacob. His daughter Maddy plays volleyball at Cal. Lacob, according to the Bay Area News Group, would consider hiring second consecutive head coach without any coaching experience. Jackson came from a job as an NBA TV analyst for ABC and ESPN.
Kerr was the general manager in Phoenix and worked with current Warriors president Rick Welts.
What Van Gundy has is experience and an remarkable record of NBA coaching success. While Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski initially reported Wednesday that the Warriors' hadn't contacted Van Gundy, Spears wrote early Wednesday evening that the organization had reached out to the coach.
In eight years as an NBA head coach, Van Gundy's had eight teams reach the playoffs. He got the Heat and the Magic to the Eastern Conference finals. He stepped down to address personal issues in Miami when the Heat was en route to winning the NBA championship. Van Gundy coached the Magic to the NBA Finals. The 54-year-old coach has a career record of 371-208, a 64.1 percent winning percentage.
Van Gundy has 48-39 record in postseason games in Miami and Orlando.
Van Gundy attended Alhambra High School in Martinez, so is no stranger to the Bay Area. He hasn't coached in the NBA since 2011-2012 while working as a basketball analyst and radio co-host one day each week on Dan Lebatard's ESPN radio show. It is on Lebatard's show that Van Gundy has made it clear that he left the Heat in December 2005 to deal with family matters and that he wasn't pushed out by team president Pat Riley, who actually coached the Heat to the title.