Bucks Deny HC Candidate List Including Jeff Van Gundy, Rick Pitino, More

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMarch 20, 2018

Former Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino talks to reporters during a news conference in New York, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. Pitino held the news conference in the wake of an NCAA decision in a sex scandal case that strips the Cardinals program of 123 victories, a national championship and $600,000 in post-season revenue. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Seth Wenig/Associated Press

Milwaukee Bucks senior vice president Alex Lasry denied a report Tuesday about the team having a list of potential coaching candidates it wishes to pursue this offseason. 

"The season is still going on. There are no candidates and there is no list. What is happening today?!?!?!?" Lasry tweeted in response to an article from Marc Stein of the New York Times.

Stein reported Jeff Van Gundy, Kevin McHale, Rick Pitino, Monty Williams and David Fizdale were potential candidates for the position. 

The Bucks fired Jason Kidd in January after a 23-22 start. Joe Prunty has served as the team's interim head coach since Kidd's dismissal, leading the team to a 14-11 record.

Van Gundy regularly appears on the lists of coaching candidates for high-profile jobs, but he has yet to be coaxed out of the broadcast booth. McHale last coached the Houston Rockets during the 2015-16 season, while Fizdale and Pitino both were recently fired from their respective positions.

Louisville let Pitino go last year after he was named in the FBI probe into college basketball corruption. Meanwhile, the Memphis Grizzlies fired Fizdale this season after a 7-12 start. Williams last coached as an assistant with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Bucks job could be the most attractive position available this summer, in large part due to Giannis Antetokounmpo. The All-Star forward is under contract through the 2020-21 season and is quickly cementing himself as one of the NBA's best young players.

While injuries to Jabari Parker, Malcolm Brogdon and Khris Middleton have hindered Milwaukee in recent years, the team's promising core of young talent should be attractive to any coach. 

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