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Grizzlies reportedly want Jeff Van Gundy as coach

Jeff Van GundyThe Memphis Grizzlies already underwent a huge front office shakeup and are poised to lose Dave Joerger to the Minnesota Timberwolves, and now it appears that they want Jeff Van Gundy to be their next coach.

Joerger led the Grizzlies to a 50-32 season last year. He is still the team’s head coach, but he is likely to leave for Minnesota where he will replace Rick Adelman.

ESPN’s Marc Stein reported Saturday night that the Grizzlies want to explore the possibility of hiring Van Gundy, who is currently a commentator for ESPN. They could offer him a possible job where he would be coach and team president, similar to the structure of the deal his brother Stan received from the Detroit Pistons.

The Grizzlies have a good roster, which makes them an appealing job for a coach. But is that the kind of job that would convince Van Gundy to leave his position as an announcer? I don’t think so.

Jeff Van Gundy bummed Rihanna is not stalking him (Video)

Rihanna has been spotted at a number of NBA playoff games recently, many of which have been broadcast on ESPN/ABC. As a result, Jeff Van Gundy joked during the first half of Game 6 between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday night that Rihanna may be stalking him. Sideline reporter Lisa Salters tried to find out if that was true.

In the second half, Salters explained that she spoke to Rihanna and asked her if she is closely following Van Gundy.

“I asked her,” Salters said. “She did need me to point out who Jeff is, but I asked her if she is stalking Jeff. She said, ‘Hey, maybe I am.’ Jeff, you need to go introduce yourself.”

Rihanna’s flirtatious attitude did not sweep Van Gundy off his feet. Instead, he was crushed that the famous artist didn’t know who he was.

“You know, you just deflated my whole night,” Van Gundy said. “You know what I mean? I’m heartbroken that she didn’t know who I was. Wow.”

Don’t take it personally, Jeff. Rihanna is probably too busy figuring out which bra she’s not going to wear to games to learn who the announcers are.

Rihanna bra Clippers

Photo via @cjzero

Jeff Van Gundy urges Clippers to protest Donald Sterling (Video)

Jeff Van GundyABC/ESPN commentator Jeff Van Gundy has never been shy when it comes to speaking his mind, and the former NBA coach did not hold back when encouraging the Clippers to take a stand against owner Donald Sterling.

During his introduction alongside Mike Breen before Game 4 of the Clippers-Warriors playoff series, Van Gundy expressed his feelings and said he felt the Clippers should have shown more of a protest.

“The only action that would be wrong is inaction or neutrality. From what the Clippers players did, I’d also like to see them make a statement before the game to the crowd about how racism has no place in this basketball arena,” said Van Gundy. “Or just sit on the bench silently protesting for 15 minutes. Or even wait until Commissioner Adam Silver imposes whatever discipline is coming. Any of those to me would have been a great statement.”

After the game began, Breen asked Van Gundy about how he thought the Sterling controversy would affect the team’s championship pursuit.

“Mike, who cares?” said Van Gundy. “There are some things that are bigger than pursuing a championship. Pursuing a championship is worthwhile. Making a stand on something that impacts society is even more important.”

Van Gundy is absolutely correct. It took a lot of guts for him to make his statement on national TV, and he did not back down. It’s nice to have someone speak his mind about such an important issue. It would have been even nicer if the Clippers took some of his advice, too. They should have protested the game.

Jeff Van Gundy picking Rockets to win NBA title

Dwight Howard RocketsAnyone who has listened to Jeff Van Gundy call NBA games for ABC/ESPN this season or heard him providing analysis on the radio knows that the former Houston Rockets coach is a big backer of his former team.

Van Gundy has long supported Dwight Howard as a defensive stalwart and has believed in the Rockets all season long. He stood by them even when they had some struggles early in the season. So it’s not too much of a surprise to hear that JVG is picking the Rockets to win the NBA championship.

“I’m going to pick the Western Conference winner, and I’m going to stick with Houston,” Van Gundy said during a conference call, according to the Houston Chronicle.

“They play fast, they score easily, and they have a talent in James Harden who is as hard to guard as anybody not named Kevin Durant or LeBron James,” Van Gundy said. “They have a center (Dwight Howard) who gives them a force in the paint, who can rebound, and then they have one of the best competitors in (point guard Patrick) Beverley; I just love his mentality in attacking each and every opponent. I think Houston has as good a chance as anyone to come out of the West.”

The Rockets are the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference and face Portland in the first round. If they’re lucky enough to advance, the road will be tough; they wouldn’t have home court against the Spurs, Thunder or Clippers. But that’s not stopping JVG from sticking with Houston.

“I really do believe the Western Conference winner will win it, and I have to stick with who I think will win the West. You could convince me about San Antonio and Oklahoma City and the Clippers as well, because all of them are really good.”

Even if Houston is not the team to win it all, this is pretty noteworthy because Van Gundy thinks the Miami Heat will be unseated as champs. The Heat are looking for their fourth straight Finals appearance and third straight title. Accomplishing both goals would be extremely difficult and impressive.

Jeff Van Gundy hopes Derrick Rose’s son has better knees than Derrick

Derrick-Rose-sonDerrick Rose watched Sunday’s game between his Chicago Bulls and the New York Knicks with his infant son PJ. Rose and his little boy were shown during ABC’s broadcast several times, and Jeff Van Gundy called him the “cutest little guy.” He also made a comment that Rose probably won’t find all that entertaining.

“I hope he has better knees than his dad,” Van Gundy said.

As you know, Rose is recovering from MCL surgery after missing the entire 2012-2013 season with a torn ACL. He has appeared in just 49 games over the last three seasons and still has a long road to recovery. Considering he is only 25 years old and was expected to be one of the best players in the NBA for years, the injuries are obviously a major concern.

Rose has been criticized by other NBA players for his injuries, so I’m sure it will go in one ear and out the other. Van Gundy has never really been one to filter himself, and I’m sure he didn’t have any ill intent when he made the comment. Still, it was kind of rough.

H/T The Big Lead

Jeff Van Gundy nervous in Gregg Popovich interview, gets a hug (Video)

Gregg Popovich hug Jeff Van GundyJeff Van Gundy knew about Gregg Popovich’s reputation for being uncooperative and rude during in-game interviews, so he was understandably nervous heading into his interview with the San Antonio Spurs coach on Wednesday night.

As Van Gundy articulated those thoughts during the interview, Pop intimidated him by demanding to know what the question was, causing Van Gundy to continue backing down. But Jeff eventually got around to the question — which was to explore Pop’s feelings — and that led the Spurs coach to break down and give Van Gundy a big ol hug.

That Pop, he’s such a sweetie. Of course, it probably helped that his Spurs were crushing the Mavericks, but that was still nice.

Video via @cjzero

Jeff Van Gundy calls out Dwight Howard

While many media members buddy up with Dwight Howard because of his outgoing personality, Jeff Van Gundy is not falling for the act. Van Gundy believes that Howard got his brother, former Magic coach Stan Van Gundy, fired in Orlando, and he’s not afraid to call out Howard when he feels it is necessary.

During the second quarter of Friday’s Oklahoma City Thunder-Los Angeles Lakers game, Van Gundy called out Howard on several accounts. His criticism was inspired by a possession in which the Lakers’ reserves shared the ball on an offensive possession, which is different from the way the starters operate.

“Did you see how the ball moved?” Van Gundy asked rhetorically. “There was no agenda. There was no pouting if they didn’t touch it. The ball just moved freely. And when the ball moves freely, everyone feels good.

“And let’s face it, let’s not beat around the bush: Some of Dwight Howard’s comments about having to play together? Those are veiled shots at Kobe Bryant,” said Van Gundy. “And to me, I would have much rather seen Howard go into the locker room and say, ‘Hey, listen, I think we need to do this, this, and this.’

“You don’t go in the media and take veiled shots at Kobe Bryant! I guarantee he thought the grass was greener other than Orlando. Now he’s disenchanted with his offensive role [on the Lakers] it seems. When’s the guy going to be happy?”

The “veiled shots” to which Van Gundy is referring came after the Lakers lost to the Clippers earlier this month.

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