Bulls' search still could include Van Gundy

When the Bulls’ coaching search officially began Tuesday, general
manager Gar Forman said he would take his time in finding a replacement
for Vinny Del Negro.

So far, that’s true. Thursday was quiet except for the news that Del
Negro is packed up and planned to head back to Arizona this morning. His
future, though, is as uncertain as the search for his successor.

Meanwhile, Forman still is figuring out who he will interview.

”In my mind, there’s really not a rush to make a decision,” he said Tuesday. ”I would hope we have something done by the time free agency comes around [on July 1].

”But really, I don’t want to put us in a box. I want to be open-minded. … I think I have a pretty good feel for what we need.”

Keeping an open mind could bring Jeff Van Gundy back into the picture. The Bulls most likely will opt for an experienced coach, and Van Gundy — an analyst with ABC/ESPN — has the best resume of all the former coaches out there.

But while working Game 1 of the Bulls’ series with the Cavaliers two weeks ago, Van Gundy was very critical of Bulls executive vice president John Paxson for his earlier confrontation with Del Negro.

Most league observers assumed that eliminated Van Gundy from consideration, but Paxson’s mea culpa — he accepted blame and apologized for the incident — might change that. Or maybe not.

Van Gundy was asked about it on ESPN 1000’s ”Waddle and Silvy” show earlier this week.

”I don’t know anything about it,” he said. ”I don’t worry about that stuff. The Bulls are a great organization. I have great respect for John Paxson through the entirety of his career. And Gar Forman, I’ve known him since my brother played against him in high school way back when. So I have a lot of respect for him, too.


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