ANother to vie for the available coaching talent and perhaps slow down the hiring process for the P's. (I'm impatient to know who the coach is gonna be so much rides on his style etc.)
VAN GUNDY RETIRES - AGAIN
By PETER VECSEY
May 6, 2007 -- Jeff Van Gundy has taken another walk to that celebrated hot-dog stand.
The Post has learned the former Knicks coach, who quit 19 games (10-9) into the '01-'02 season, again is leaving the profession for the foreseeable future, and his decision has nothing to do with last night's Game 7 103-99 playoff elimination home loss to the Jazz.
According to an impeccable source, Van Gundy's mind has been made up for weeks, if not months, to distance himself from the stress of the sidelines regardless of whether Houston got bumped early on or took the season to the championship limit.
It's his choice. Given the Rockets' rude first-round sendoff, the third time in Van Gundy's four-year tour (and sixth of Tracy McGrady's 10-year career), it's highly unlikely owner Les Alexander would choose to re-sign the free-agent control freak, anyway.
As evidenced by how the Jazz beat their opponents to countless rebounds and loose balls, Houston is desperate for livelier bodies and a more "athletically inclined" coach.
In fact, a source reveals Alexander's emissaries already have spoken to at least one targeted replacement. Nevertheless, the timing of Jeff's departure is weird on two counts.
His brother, Stan, who quit as Heat last season, only just resurfaced as a candidate for various openings (Bobcats boss Michael Jordan and GM Bernie Bickerstaff interviewed him last week) throughout the NBA. And guess who was slapping five with Jerry Sloan after last night's upset? Assistant coach Scott Layden, the mortally stunned Knicks president when Jeff Van Gundy abandoned the franchise.