Jeff Van Gundy Worried About ‘Very Poor’ NBA Product After Lockout

by November 03, 2011

JVG’s New York Knicks benefitted greatly from the last lockout in 1999, when they miraculously made it all the way to the NBA Finals. But the former coach is concerned about the quality of play during a shortened and rushed regular season. From the NY Post: “By having a normal camp and less-congested schedule, [David] Stern will show he does care about the fans, [Jeff] Van Gundy said. ‘The fans deserve what they’re accustomed to seeing — the best basketball in the world even if it costs the players and owners money,’ Van Gundy said. ‘I’m hopeful the league learned from 1999 and doesn’t rush it and realize one more week of patience, one more week of camp would be beneficial to the fans. I’m hoping the league doesn’t rush teams into action. We have history to show some people reported in horrible shape.’ The ’99 season began in early February, featured a two-week training camp and two preseason games. The Knicks, who staged camp at Hempstead’s Island Garden, played only a home-and-home with the Nets. ‘Reduced training camp, few practice days, basketball was very poor for much of the regular season,’ Van Gundy said. ‘Once the playoffs began, it was more a normal schedule and a good product. But the regular season, fans paid top dollar for a very poor product.’ … ‘It would be good for the owners and players but it wouldn’t be good for the fans,’ Van Gundy said. ‘Don’t just say the fans are important. Act in a manner in which you show the fans truly are important.’ When the lockout ends, Van Gundy hopes the NBA restores $10 ticket specials as it did in 1999 and has cut-rate concession prices to make up for the work stoppage.”