10.22.12

Jeff On Stan Van Gundy : He’s Not Heavy, He’s My Brother (And David Stern Is Fucking With Him)

Posted in Basketball, Sports TV at 3:50 pm by

Never before has anyone expressed nearly so much disappointment over not getting to spend time with Bill Simmons. It’s been suggested previously that former Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy lost out on an “NBA Countdown” analyst gig when David Stern leaned on ESPN (a charge the network denies). Speaking with USA Today’s Micheal Heistand, Stan’s brother and current ESPN hoops commentator Jeff Van Gundy warns his employer, “you have to be careful as a news organization that you don’t fall into voluntary censorship, that you worry about offending your ‘league partner.’”

“There’s certainly circumstantial evidence that something from the outside — presumably the NBA — changed (ESPN’s) thinking. … I was happy when they came to an agreement and shocked when they pulled their offer.”

Obviously it’s personal for Jeff. And after ESPN asked Jeff to help recruit Stan, “Obviously this stings. Frankly, it’s a shame what happened.”

Going forward? “As a broadcaster of the NBA, it give you pause,” Jeff says. “How forthcoming can you be? You don’t want your honesty to cost you a chance at employment.This is a shot across the bow.”

Jeff’s big picture: “This is an organization that’s treated me great. But this raises interesting questions about what a (league-network) partnership means. You have to realize, as a fan, you’re not getting the whole truth”

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