The Golden State Warriors have been without a head coach for about a week, but it doesn’t appear that vacancy will last much longer.
Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix reported that talks between the Warriors and Stan Van Gundy are “intensifying.” Van Gundy, who has emerged as the clear front-runner for the job, is close to signing a deal.
Talks intensifying between Warriors and Stan Van Gundy, per sources. Van Gundy now Golden State’s clear top choice. Moving towards a deal.
— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) May 13, 2014
Van Gundy has jumped to the forefront after it appears TNT analyst Steve Kerr is leaning toward accepting the New York Knicks’ job. Kerr reportedly had interest in the job, given his strong relationships with Warriors owner Joe Lacob and president Rick Welts.
But the team grew increasingly pessimistic about their chances of luring Kerr to the Bay Area, and according to Yahoo! Sports, Golden State had not had “serious talks” with Kerr in days.
As expected, Van Gundy gained an edge with the rumors Kerr was considering rejecting the Warriors’ job. Over the weekend, ESPN reported Van Gundy underwent his first formal interview with the team and was the “closest thing” to being its top target.
Hearing Stan Van Gundy’s first formal Warriors interview is “imminent.” ESPN reported Saturday that SVG is “closest thing” to GSW top target
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) May 12, 2014
Van Gundy has not coached in the NBA since being fired by the Orlando Magic after the 2011-12 season. One of the best defensive-minded coaches, he also thrived in his in ability to give 3-point shooters opportunities around center Dwight Howard. He could potentially do the same with sharp-shooters in Steph Curry and Klay Thompson.