The Dallas Mavericks are looking for a new veteran assistant coach to join their bench, and one of the names they are reportedly interested in is a part of the 2023 NBA Finals.
Not as a player or coach though, he is an analyst for ESPN and he is one of the best in the business.
His name is Jeff Van Gundy and he could be the next coach to join the Mavericks' bench.
Dallas Mavericks eyeing top-nothc ESPN analyst to be assistant coach
Marc Stein reported that Dallas "plan(s) to gauge Jeff Van Gundy's interest in a potential return to the bench as an aide to Kidd after 15-plus years in broadcasting" (subscription required). Van Gundy spent seven years as an assistant coach for the New York Knicks from 1989 until 1996.
In 1996 he was promoted to be the head coach of the Knicks and served in that role for seven more seasons before finishing off his coaching career with the Houston Rockets. He coached the Rockets from 2003 until 2007.
In games that Van Gundy was the head coach, he won 430 games during the regular season and 44 games in the playoffs. He also has NBA Finals coaching experience and has been around basketball for his entire life, as his father was a college basketball coach. Van Gundy also played basketball until he was in college.
If brought into Dallas, Van Gundy would be asked to help coach their defense. He was a defensive-minded coach during his time in the NBA and could help Dallas revolutionize their defense, and get back to playing tough.
Dallas was the 21st-ranked defense by defensive rating and was 28th in the NBA in blocks per game last season. They need new personnel, but having a defensive-minded coach on the bench could help Dallas to return to the elite defense they were playing in the 2022 NBA Playoffs.
Stay tuned to see if Van Gundy decides to step away from the microphone and if Dallas pursues him. They've had no luck landing a replacement for Greg St. Jean, and Van Gundy could have the resume that Dallas is looking for.