Friday , May , 18 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Rockets fire Van Gundy

Houston, TX (Sports Network) – The Houston Rockets fired head coach Jeff Van
Gundy on Friday.

Van Gundy had an option year remaining on his current contract and reports
last week indicated that he did not want to return to the team. He later
denied those reports and according to the Rockets on Friday the two sides were
unable to come to an agreement.

Van Gundy was offered the opportunity to stay within the organization in a
senior consultant capacity, but he declined.

“First and foremost we want to thank Jeff for his tireless efforts here with
the team over the past four seasons,” said Rockets general manager Daryl
Morey. “Jeff built the team into a top defensive club and played a crucial
part in helping mold this team into a playoff contender.

“Since the end of the postseason, we have had numerous conversations with
Jeff about his interest in proceeding as the head coach. He asked for, and was
granted, additional time to evaluate his situation with the agreement that we
would begin looking into other candidates. During that process it became clear
that Jeff did not want to continue in any capacity with the team other than as
head coach.”

According to the Houston Chronicle, former Kings, Warriors and Trail Blazers
head coach Rick Adelman is the leading candidate to replace Van Gundy.

Van Gundy joined the Rockets in 2003 and in four seasons posted a 182-146
(.555) record. Houston also made the playoffs three times (2004, 2005, 2007),
while posting a 7-12 (.368) mark in the postseason. Overall, Van Gundy holds a
career coaching record of 430-318 (.575), as well as a 44-44 (.500) mark in
the postseason, having also coached the New York Knicks.

The Rockets lost to the Utah Jazz in seven games in the conference
quarterfinal round of the playoffs this season.