The USA Men’s Basketball team head coach Gregg Popovich asked Jeff Van Gundy to be a team scout during the World Cup in preparation for the 2020 Olympics, according to Marc Stein of the New York Times.
Popovich was so pleased with the job Van Gundy had done with the Men’s national team in the world cup qualifiers that he wanted JVG to be a part of the team in the future. On July 5, 2017, Van Gundy was announced as the head coach of the Men’s national team that played in the FIBA AmeriCup 2017 and the FIBA World Cup Qualifying games.
Van Gundy led the team comprised of G-Leaguers to a 7-1 overall record during the World Cup Qualifiers, securing a place in the 32-team FIBA World Cup in 2019. With Van Gundy as a scout, he will be accompanied by a highly-accomplished coaching staff. The staff will feature Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, Indiana Pacers head coach Nate McMillan and Villanova coach Jay Wright as assistants.
The ESPN broadcaster has established 18 seasons of NBA coaching under his belt, 11 seasons as a head coach and seven as an assistant. His most notable season as a head coach was when he led the 1998-99 New York Knicks to the NBA Finals. That year the Knicks were the first eighth-seeded team to make the Finals in NBA History. He also was at the helm for some of the early Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming years during his time with the Houston Rockets that included three trips to the playoffs in his four seasons with the team.