Jeff Van Gundy still regrets quitting Knicks

Houston Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy tries to Houston Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy tries to give directions to his teammates during the fourth quarter of a basketball game against the Cleveland Cavaliers. (March 5, 2007) Photo Credit: AP

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Jeff Van Gundy regrets quitting his job as Knicks coach in 2001 and said he lives with that remorse to this day.

Van Gundy opened up about his "bad decision" Friday during an interview on the Michael Kay Show on ESPN radio. They were discussing Doc Rivers' decision to leave the Celtics to become the Clippers' coach. Van Gundy defended Rivers, saying what he did 12 1/2 years ago was worse.

"I quit the Knicks, so I know what quitting is," he said. "I did it. I quit. And it's something I regret to this day . . . I live with it every day and I regret it. I let my emotions come into it. I was just emotionally spent. I made a bad decision and I quit. Doc Rivers didn't quit. He was allowed to pursue a better opportunity for himself. That's a significant, significant difference that everybody's glossing over."

Van Gundy was with the Knicks from 1989-2001 as an assistant and head coach. He compiled a 248-172 record in parts of seven seasons as head coach but walked away after they started 10-9 in 2001.

"I had a great job with the Knicks," he said. "I let . . . frustration overwhelm me . . . The frustrations were real, but it was certainly an overreaction. Like I said, I'm the only one to blame for that because I had a great, great job and I left it voluntarily.''

The Dolan family owns

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controlling interests in the

Knicks, Madison Square

Garden and Cablevision.

Cablevision owns Newsday.

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