It was not unexpected. The question for a majority of New York Knicks fans is ‘why did it not happen sooner?’. With the regular NBA season completed and before the playoffs, Isiah Thomas was removed as the Knicks’ coach:

“NEW YORK (AP) — Isiah Thomas couldn’t win as coach with the players he assembled as president. Now, he’s lost both jobs. Thomas was fired as the New York Knicks coach Friday after a season of listless and dreadful basketball, a tawdry lawsuit and unending chants from fans demanding his dismissal.”

link: Isiah Thomas fired as coach of New York Knicks

Now begins a search for a coach who can cobble together a shattered franchise and change a recent history of losing. Perhaps the Knicks President, Donnie Walsh, already has a short list of coaching candidates in mind. I hope that Jeff Van Gundy is not on that list – and, if he is, perhaps Coach Van Gundy can have his name removed quickly.

There is no question about Jeff Van Gundy’s basketball credentials. He has proven himself as a coach and his basketball knowledge is encyclopedic. He has coached the New York Knicks previously, with considerable success. He repeated that success in Houston. However, when Jeff Van Gundy is coaching, he looks absolutely miserable. And perhaps he feels worse that he looks. One cannot tell by Coach Van Gundy’s expression, whether his team is winning or losing. He just looks grim.

At the moment, Jeff Van Gundy is a television commentator for some basketball games. He is insightful and humourous. He is just plain excellent. It may be a continual surprise to some that the Coach has a sense of humour. He does and he seems to enjoy doing the broadcasts. Basketball is part of his DNA.

The New York Knicks’ coaching job must look tempting to him. It is a storied franchise. He could do the job. It would be returning to the NBA; and it would be doing a job that he knows how to do so well. Coaching would pay him millions of dollars. Nevertheless, it would make him absolutely miserable again. – Don’t do it, Coach! Watch videos of the Knicks games until the feeling passes. Just take yourself off that list of coaching candidates! You can thank me later.

Catherine Forsythe
Director of Operations

[tag]nba, new york knicks, coach, isiah thomas, donnie walsh, jeff van gundy, basketball[/tag]