The man who famously (and dismissively) once referred to Phil Jackson as "Big Chief Triangle" while coaching the Knicks could be gaining momentum as the Rockets' top choice: current ABC/ESPN broadcaster Jeff Van Gundy.

Houston interviewed Charlotte assistant Stephen Silas last week, and Silas -- son of veteran NBA coach Paul Silas -- was impressive, league sources said. But the Rockets have traditionally hired coaches with head coaching experience. Van Gundy not only has that, he has it with the Rockets, whom he coached from 2003-07.

Jeff Van Gundy may be Houston's top coaching choice. USATSI

With Van Gundy, it's always been a question of whether he's willing to leave his now decade-long life as a broadcaster for the rigors of coaching that left him burned out and exhausted when he was fired by the Rockets after a 52-win season in 2006-07.

Houston also has expressed interest in Mike D'Antoni, Jeff Hornacek and Frank Vogel, who previously interviewed with the Rockets during their 2011 search that ended with Kevin McHale getting the job. They've also interviewed TNT broadcaster (and two-time Rockets champion) Kenny Smith.