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Jeff Van Gundy is the apparent frontrunner for the Rockets head coaching gig

After weeks of interviews, the former Rockets coach is still rumored to be the leader for the job. We shouldn't have to wait long to find out.

Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Multiple reports have former Rockets head coach and current ESPN NBA color commentator Jeff Van Gundy as the leading candidate to replace interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff as the Houston Rockets head coach. While nothing is official, a tweet by Journal Times basketball insider Gery Woelfel has set off a firestorm of speculation.

The story has since been picked up by several media outlets, including NBC Sports and also Larry Brown Sports. Multiple blogs have also dovetailed off of those reports, including FansidedAwful Announcing, and of course, now yours truly.

Van Gundy was a head coach for the New York Knicks from 1996 - 2001, leading the team to the 1999 NBA Finals and also playing front and center in one of the most memorable NBA moments from that era:

Van Gundy later went on to coach the Houston Rockets from 2003 - 2007, the meat of the Yao-McGrady years, and though he finished with a 182-146 record and made the playoffs in three out of his four seasons as head coach, he could never get the team past the first round, losing to the Lakers, Mavericks and Jazz.

Van Gundy is known as a defensive tactician and a coach with high expectations of his players, which is likely the attractive point for the Rockets front office should he actually be hired. And his .575 career coaching win percentage is certainly nothing to scoff at, despite the lack of postseason success.

It remains to be seen how Van Gundy would adapt to today's NBA game if hired, as it's been close to a decade since he last paced an NBA sideline with his oft-cranky persona and dark circles under his eyes, but his years following the game as an analyst have likely given him added perspective on the nuances of an evolving League.

He's always been regarded as one of the hardest working guys around, so there's no doubt he'd put in the time, and he does have experience managing big names and big personalities in both New York and Houston in his first coaching go-around. He's also a name that draws respect in the locker room, something the Rockets sorely need.

He's never been known as an offensive innovator, however, so if this actually materializes, I'd be curious to hear about the staff surrounding Van Gundy and the influence they'll have on a squad ripe for a reload.

Apparently, we won't have long to wait, with Woelfel claiming the Rockets plan on having this all wrapped up by next week. And then this offseason will truly get exciting, as we move beyond discussing the coach and onto how to remake the roster after an underachieving season.