The Lakers are putting in work.
Last night, it was revealed that they had been granted permission by the San Antonio Spurs to interview their lead assistant coach Ettore Messina, and it seems they’ve also reached out to another big name in the coaching world.
According to Sam Amick from USA Today, the Lakers have reached out to veteran coach Jeff Van Gundy, who is said to be “intrigued” about the possibility of coaching the purple and gold.
“[Van Gundy] has also been contacted by the Lakers and does have an interest in the position,” Amick writes.
Since being fired by the Houston Rockets in 2007, Van Gundy has been extremely picky about his next coaching job, and to date he has opted to stay with ESPN as a broadcaster.
However, the allure of the Lakers, their young players and the possibility to sign some big name free agents this summer is likely the reason behind Van Gundy’s reported interest.
The Rockets are also expected to pursue Van Gundy once their playoff run ends. They are currently down 3-1 to the Golden State Warriors.
Van Gundy made it to the NBA Finals in 1999 while coaching the New York Knicks, and reached the conference finals the following season. He hasn’t progresed past the first round since then, however.
In 11 seasons as head coach, Van Gundy has a 430-318 (.575) win-loss record.