From the outside looking in, it appeared as if the Detroit Pistons trumped the Golden State Warriors in the hunt for coaching candidate Stan Van Gundy by offering him a job as head coach and president of basketball operations.
Now SVG says that an offer to coach in the Bay Area was never on the table.
In a radio interview on The Dan Patrick Show, host Dan Patrick had the following exchange with Van Gundy:
DP: Clear something up, Stan. Were you offered the Golden State job?
SVG: No, I was not.
DP: Did you talk to Golden State?
SVG: Yes, I did. I did talk to them, but this was the job…Detroit that I was focused on from the minute I met (owner) Tom Gores and his partner at Platinum Equity, Mark Barnhill. We met for six-and-a-half hours a little less than two weeks ago, and I was impressed with him, his vision, our philosophies; what we believe in terms of organizational structure were all very similar. I was sold on his passion to turn things around.
According to an initial report from ESPN’s Marc Stein and Ian Begley, Van Gundy was tabbed as the “closest thing to a top target” that the Warriors had.
As it turns out, SVG never seriously considered joining Golden State because there was never an offer to mull. He was also already sold on the Pistons' organizational outlook. (I’m sure $35 million didn’t hurt.)
In addition to dishing details about his job hunt, the coaching veteran said the following when asked if being part of the media is an advantage for would-be suitors.
Oh yeah, I think it helps. … If you look at the history of hirings, you know, it’s certainly fair to say, Dan. You hit it right on the head, the guys who are visible; I mean that’s why the broadcasters' names always come up. Steve Kerr, you know, he’s never coached, but he’s out there. You get to hear him speak intelligently about the game. No question that that helps.
Kerr agreed to a five-year, $25 million deal to coach the Warriors despite not having any prior coaching experience. The Dubs’ previous coach, Mark Jackson, was also signed out of the broadcast booth.
Patrick went on to ask if Stan's brother, Jeff Van Gundy, plans to coach again. To that, SVG said he didn’t know. JVG has been away from the sideline following a four-year stint with the Houston Rockets from 2003-04 through 2006-07.
It’s clear that the hairier Van Gundy brother has quite a lot of work ahead of him to turn the Pistons franchise around. Detroit has missed the playoffs for five consecutive seasons and had no semblance of chemistry with Josh Smith, Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond in the same frontcourt.
As a result, Van Gundy’s first order of business may be parting ways with Monroe so that he can slide J-Smoove to the power forward spot. Analytics buffs will plead for SVG to make Smith stop shooting threes.
Hat tip to Black Sports Online for the find.