JVG Bye-Bye

The Rockets gave the boot today to Jeff Van Gundy, and will now embark on a depressing search for a coach who will promise to install the in-vogue points-happy offense of the Phoenix Suns and Dallas Mavericks.

We’ll miss Van Gundy. Always brutally honest (See the last item, “Keeping It Positive,” in this column), he was -- hey, wait a second; he was never brutally honest about Bonzi Wells.

What he was, though, was the master of analyzing the game. So what if he couldn’t get Tracy McGrady to drive to the basket because there were mean men who wanted to hurt him? So what if Yao Ming still hasn’t mastered the art of post play?

Van Gundy couldn’t fix these problems, but he sure could analyze them. And, because he analyzed them with a hang-dog look and a pronounced tendency towards pessimism, Houston fans will surely now be saddled with some peppy, soundbite-spewing salesman pushing the Rockets brand.

So long, Jeff. Go analyze some games on TV, spend some time with the kids, relax, for crissake. At least you’re not working for Les anymore. - Rich Connelly

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