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Friday, April 10th, 2009 at 10:00 am  |  92 responses

Jeff Van Gundy’s Opinions are Hurting Feelings Across the Hoops Universe

by Marcel Mutoni

JVG is one of my favorite sports analysts working on television today, or at any other time for that matter. He’s knowledgeable, honest, neurotic, funny, and sarcastic. All perfectly good reasons, of course, for people within basketball to loathe him.

The list of folks he’s managed to anger this season is long, but don’t expect that to stop him from telling it like it is.

The NY Daily News has more:

Jeff Van Gundy once called Michael Jordan a con man and said it again the next day just in case someone didn’t hear him. And this was before Van Gundy was paid for his opinions. If you’re willing to go there and live with the consequences, should anyone really be surprised that this season alone Van Gundy – the obsessed head coach turned engaging television analyst – has managed to upset the Knicks, the Phoenix Suns and even most of college basketball for having the audacity to question whether Davidson’s Stephen Curry can be a starting-caliber NBA point guard?

[David] Lee felt that Van Gundy took his comment out of context but also acknowledged that Van Gundy, like Charles Barkley, makes for good television because he’s entertaining and provocative. After the Suns fired Terry Porter, Van Gundy criticized Steve Nash and Grant Hill for, in his mind, failing to support their coach. The Phoenix Suns’ organization was so angered, it demanded an apology. The Suns didn’t get one.

“I know that not everybody agrees with everything I say,” Van Gundy said Thursday by phone. “ESPN probably has problems with my tangents even though I don’t know when I’m tangent-ing. I try to be fair and objective. I try to say what I think. But hey, I didn’t always agree with everything that was said or written about my teams.”

In an awesome twist of fate, the horror show that is otherwise known as the New York Knicks will make its national television debut in Orlando tonight.

And guess whose job it is to tell the home viewer what he thinks of their play?

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  • Ken

    I wish he had attened Zo’s retirement ceremony. Him riding the leg would have made it priceless.

  • http://where-basketball-b-longs.blogspot.com B. Long

    The Notorious J.V.G.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com BETCATS

    i like Van Gundy, but he points out pick and rolls in games when their is no pick and roll going on. It is like he is imagining it or something. Besides that, Jeff is cheddar.

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    lol @ all 3 comments above.

  • http://slamonline.com Russ Bengtson

    All of a sudden I feel a lot better about the Knicks being on national TV tonight. Fight the power, JVG!

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Best in the biz?

  • http://slamonline.com/online/category/blogs/fear/ Fred34

    Is he allowed to tangent-ing?

  • nate the great

    Jeff is GOD!

  • Sesa

    Nate Robinson, David Lee and JVG. A legit reason to watch the Knicks on National TV

  • haha

    the suns are actaully complainin cuz JVG said that nash and hilll didnt buy into the defence…and they give up a 140 points to dallas ahhaha what do they expect.JVG is the best

  • http://mindyourbusiness@getalife.com Allenp

    TAD
    Blasphemy!
    Have you forgotten the genius that is Hubie Brown? No other can be the best in the game until Hubie Brown retires. To say anything else is grounds for flogging…
    But, Jeff is second on my list.

  • http://slamonline.com/online/category/blogs/fear/ Fred34

    JVG is good on his own – but when he and Marck Jackson go at each other – they’re great

  • Geoff

    Better than Bill Walton, where is he anyway??!!!!!

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    I agree Allenp. That is why I had the question mark.

  • Max

    I like JVG when he goes off on one of his rants. But his criticism of the Knicks is more than a bit unsettling, given the way he quit on the team suddenly, which catalyzed the team’s downward spiral this decade.

  • http://ittakesanationofmillionstoholdthissac.blogspot.com ciolkstar

    Clearly, the best in the game. For my money, JVG is the best analyst/play by play guy in ANY sport. Hubie is right there as well. Those dudes are WAY ahead of the rest of the pack. And you can add Wilson Chandler to that list Sesa… dude has been an absolute stat stuffer recently and d’Antoni’s been giving him crazy minutes. I need his sick combo of threes, blocks and steals to continue tonight!

  • http://ittakesanationofmillionstoholdthissac.blogspot.com ciolkstar

    The more I think about it Hubie is RIGHT THERE. They have different styles, Van Gundy is funnier but Hubie is so damn genuine, and clearly has great knowledge and a love for the game, as well as a love for the underdog when it comes to players (which I really love). Man, “JVG or Hubie” is tougher for me to decide than Lebron vs Kobe!

  • daHiVE

    mike breen, mark jackson and JVG are great to listen to, definitely my favourite announcers atm. i still find this was one of the funniest moment of last years finals(this, and cb4 as tonight show correspondent): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wCh7frs5rw

  • ENDS

    he says what he feels, not forced to get a reaction but sincerely just what on his mind. i like that

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    Jack Ramsay should take all you young whippersnappers behind the woodshed and teach you a thing or two about respect.

  • http://neworleansbasketball.blogspot.com Caleb

    Hubie is definitely the best.

    I have mixed feelings about Van Gundy… but I do like his sincerity.

    He’s far, far better than that doofus Mark Jackson that’s for sure.

  • Tommy Patron

    Mama, there goes that man. Caleb, you are better than that………

    Jackson is ONLY tolerable when with JVG and Breen, NEVER in just a two-man booth.

  • http://neworleansbasketball.blogspot.com Caleb

    Jackson is never tolerable.

  • Jackie Moon

    Michael Jordan IS a con man, you SHOULDN’T be proud of going 0-3, and the Suns players DID run Terry Porter out of town. What’s the problem?

  • wilz

    i know this is about jvg, but how much did reggie kill the lakers-nuggets game last night! man, all i can remember is marble marble marble, me me me, and a lot of non-sensical arguiing

  • http://neworleansbasketball.blogspot.com Caleb

    Reggie Miller, Mark Jackson and Kenny Smith should start a “horrible announcers” club or something…

  • http://www.slamonline.com John D

    ^ Reggie does that every night.

  • http://lastknickstanding.blogspot.com Bryan

    I just want to say the knicks aren’t a horror show

  • finest hour

    ya the kicks have been decent not a playoff team but decent.

  • larrylegend

    hubie should be elected to the hof a second time.
    and jvg is definitly in the top 5, maybe all time.

  • larrylegend

    oh, after jvg called mj a con man, he dropped 55 on the knicks the next game. i love that dvd.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    reggie was horrible last night. i know he always is but last night was bizarre. he was making a case for rick adelman as coy and at one time fratello said something like ‘okay you’re too confusing reggie let’s get back to the game’ and marv said ‘that was the more bizarre exchange i’ve ever hear’. did anybody else hear it?

  • http://www.showmeyourwits.com showmeyourwits

    Jackson is decent, and with JVG and Breen he’s great. Reggie Miller on the other hand? He sounds like exactly what he is: Cheryl’s nerdy little brother who thinks he knows everything. Ugh, I just switch to KCAL when he’s calling the Lakers.

  • http://www.showmeyourwits.com showmeyourwits

    Z, I was getting so pissed b/c they were missing some dope Kobe knockout buckets. He was soul-gratingly awful last night.

  • http://neworleansbasketball.blogspot.com Caleb

    Decent? Jackson is just one dumb cliche after another… and none of these guys, except for Hubie Brown, have any understanding of pace.. which is a huge pet peeve of mine.

  • Tommy Patron

    Reggie Miller is what happens when you grow up emulating a somewhat nerdy older sister, but are too nerdy to accomplish that, then have an over-inflated sense of your importance permanently etched-in from many near-triumphs in professional sports.

  • http://mindyourbusiness@getalife.com Allenp

    Hubie, despite been ancient, never comes across as crochety (sp). He seems to love ball now the same way he loved when he got started. Plus, I ALWAYS learn something new when I listen to Hubie, and he doesn’t pick on players who are supposed to be villians, and he doesn’t slurp the good guys. He’s straight up, and he still seems amazed at the greatness that NBA players do nightly, despite having coached for decades.
    Man, Hubie Brown is awesome.
    Jeff is good, but he’s a little too angry sometimes. Plus, he can sometimes just parrot mainstream opinions, particularly with Mike Breen, who does nothing but parrot mainstream opinions. However, Jeff is honest. I actually like Jeff a LOT more than Mark Jackson. Jeff is a real coach, Mark Jackson is just a former player who wants to be a coach.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    One of my favorite media moments ever was seeing JVG berating Charley Rosen in a near-empty Continental Arena two hours before a Nets game a few years ago. Gotta love that little Diet Coke-mainlining f*cker.

  • http://mindyourbusiness@getalife.com Allenp

    Oh, and my bad TAD. I though that was a rhetorical question by you.

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    ALLENP, I COULDNT AGREE MORE, HUBIE IS THE MAN!!!

  • http://www.twitter.com/TheDiesel Anton

    JVG rules all.

  • http://phoenixsunsrising.blogspot.com Hersey

    Van Gundy and Mark Jackson together get the mute. It’s unbearable. Jackson restates the obvious with preacher like confidence and Van Gundy just waits for something to criticize. Marv Albert and Mike Fratello FTW. Hell even Hubie and Tirico is fun. Hubie is the best former coach on TV IMO.

  • http://sportzin.com Joey E.

    this is stupid
    non-news

  • http://phoenixsunsrising.blogspot.com Hersey

    How many points did Jordan drop on the Knicks in the game after JVG called him a con man? 51. I remember Jordan screaming at him in that game too

  • http://nba.com tealish

    JVG makes the game that much more enjoyable to watch. I wouldn’t even make the Barkley comparison because amidst the laughs, I actually value Van Gundy’s opinion.
    He’s not even that controversial either because none of his criticisms are unfair. He tells it like it is, but without resorting to cheap shots. Best commentator of all time. Respect!

  • Josh D

    I agree with him on the Suns thing

  • Pardeep

    He is right

  • BxBaller

    AllenP, I agree totally with you about Hubie. Easily one of my favorite analysts. Mike Tirico is a clown. Mike Breen is bearable at times, when he isn’t slobbering the opponents teams when he does Knick games.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Hubie Brown is awesome, I agree. Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson is probably my favorite duo, though. Van Gundy tells it like it is.
    The best play-by-play guy has to be Marv Albert, that guy is straight up awesome. Then followed by Kevin Harlan and Mike Breen. If Bob Costas wasn’t a r@cist, I’d put him up there too. NBA on NBC was classic.

  • Bro. D.

    Hubie Brown is still breaking down a play from last night.

  • http://mindyourbusiness@getalife.com Allenp

    I forgot about Marv and Fratello, they are pretty nice as well.

  • Orlando Green

    JVG is great!

  • BostonBaller

    Hubie B is indeed the MAN. JVG & M Jackson are a married couple I enjoy from time to time. JVG alone would probably bother me a bit. JVG to MJ, a con man? whatever…

  • http://neworleansbasketball.blogspot.com Caleb

    Costas is racist?

  • a_whiteman

    Is this why nba on nbc got cancelled?

  • ab_40

    the notorius jvg is almost as bad as marvalous for marv albert

    but hey I like his style. he says what he thinks and he knows what he is talking about. and I too don’t think stephen curry can be a starting calliber pg in the nba. he’s a monta ellis type of guy without all the hops… so that’s watsup

  • http://nbacheapseats.blogspot.com Chendaddy

    JVG and Mark Jackson are hilarious together. My favorite exchange was when JVG used a complex word, I can’t even remember what it was right now, and Jackson asked JVG if he even knew what the word meant. JVG defined it, then added, “That’s an SAT word. I had to take the SAT’s to get into college. Who took your SAT’s for you, Mark???” GOLDEN!!

  • http://jamescleaton.ning.com Jaymes

    Hubie’s great,he’s knowledgable, and he just love’s the game, Mark and JVG are good too, but Marv and the Tzar are royalty..Best tandem ever.

  • http://idunkonthem.blogspot.com/ albie1kenobi

    the JVG/MJax/Breen team did a game at Oakland this year, and they talked about their pre-game meal at In-n-Out burgers, and JVG exclaimed that why aren’t there In-n-out in other parts of the country. i mean, what other commentators even talk about stuff like that? JVG is pure genius.

  • Henkenzo

    where’s the love for doug collins?

  • Tommy Patron

    Listening to Doug Collins slobber all over anyone having to do with basketball, with his fawning-a#*, makes me feel embarrassed for him and his family.

  • Henkenzo

    haha, no love for doug…

  • Kozmic

    Doug collins should have accepted that Bulls offer, pure dumbass! JVG ain’t too bad. Just skip the non-stop arguing with the ignorent f*cks next to you and stick to the play-by-play more often.

  • Sesa

    I had nothin against Mike Breen except his BANG, BANG, BANG!

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Yes, Caleb.

  • http://www.twitter.com/TheDiesel Anton

    JVG: “Did you just say Rodney Stuckey’s game is comparable to Dwyane Wade’s? My goodness! Tell me 1 way in which they’re similar. Both play for the NBA? Listen, I weigh 175 pounds and no one is comparing me to Allen Iverson!”

  • nickthaqucik

    MJax on Kobe usually after a difficult shot or an and1 basket: “Look at my work, you know who I am, you’ve seen what i can do.”

  • nickthaqucik

    Mjax after JVG basically called him an idiot for having Dwight over Yao as the Top Center in the L: “I only need 1 more insult from you to go with my 10 points and 10 assists to get me a triple double” Classic!

  • thasam

    Hubie Brown is clearly the best game analyst; as great as he is, he is that much better when paired with Dick Stockton. I may be showing my age a little, but I think the Stockton/Hubie Brown duo at CBS (and later TNT of course) was the best NBA announcing tandem ever on network TV – with Marv and Mike at NBC a VERY close second. Breen/JVG/Action Jackson is the first good announcing team ABC has had since it has had the NBA, and that should show you how much ABC is lacking compared to its two predecessors (CBS and NBC). Some of y’all are sleeping on Stockton as a play-by-play man; look up some of those classic CBS games on youtube or on Hardwood Classics. He made Tommy Heihnson tolerable, and that is no easy feat.

  • http://www.twitter.com/TheDiesel Anton

    JVG commentating on Kobe having a flu, because he was sitting on the bench covered with towels…camera shot goes to some rapper in the crowd wearing a hoodie and toque: “Hey, look at that ___(forgot rapper’s name), does he have the flu too? I mean he’s wearing a hat indoors.”

  • Tuomas

    Everyone not named Reggie is better than Bill Walton. And yes, Hubie is great.

  • Tommy Patron

    Thasam-Dude, you are super on-point! Stockton can still get it done.

  • http://mindyourbusiness@getalife.com Allenp

    Dick Stockton was pretty good…
    I really despise Doug Collins as an announcer. It’s not because he’s not knowledgable, he has some good insight. But, he is constantly slurping certain players and bad mouthing others. Blatant favoritism is unacceptable, and it prevents Collins from calling the games honestly. In fact, if Collins is calling a Suns game, I prefer to turn the sound off. His love affair with Steve Nash is ridiculous.
    I also like the cat who does the color for Golden State. That dude knows his stuff. And the Heat’s color announcer is pretty good.
    Boston has pound-for-pound the worst announcing team in basketball. Easily.

  • http://g gregory morton

    that was not a rapper that was randy moss

  • Wayno

    George Blaha…love that guy. If you ever heard Bill Lambier anounce it was pretty hilarious…he was the most biased anouncer ever. He basically say straight up that he didn’t like certain players or coaches. Hubie Brown is the worst right now though…he’s about 12 steps behind all the time.

  • http://nba.com tealish

    @Allenp: Agreed. Watching a game called by Collins, you can clearly tell who are his favourites and who aren’t. He can go an entire quarter talking about the ways Steve Nash makes everyone better. But I still enjoy him as a announcer.
    I forgot about Hubie too. I don’t think there is a more objective announcer who’s also interesting. JVG is still the man though.

  • md

    Reggie Miller = Goat Announcer

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    IM SICK AND FN TIRED OF JON BARRY, STU SCOTT, AND WHOMEVER ELSE THAT SAYS REGARDING LEBRON OR KOBE,”maybe one day with practice he might be halfway decent.” THAT HAS BEEN RUN INTO THE GROUND AND WAS NEVER FUNNY. STOP!

  • http://msn.com big daddy

    give me more of mark jones on espn in the studio and play by play.he had a great line when he said that the spurs without ginobili is like “cookin with cold grease..you can’t”.mark jones rules.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Wow Reggie Miller is not a bad announcer, seriously.

  • donovan

    LOL………….. please tell me everyone just saw JVG’s rant about the media having MVP votes but not the players and coaches during this Cavs-Celtics slaughterhouse.

    Instant classic.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    he kinda messed up with saying that scottie pippen was not an hof’er, though

  • http://www.twitter.com/TheDiesel Anton

    Yeah and no way can LeBron and Kobe beat MJ and Pippen. 24 would make it an instant 1-on-2.

  • FL1P

    players should be ejected from the game if they have theire shots blocked by wally….i like that idea!!!

  • NBA Q.

    NBA on NBC did not get cancelled. ABC ponied up about 80 Mil more dollars…tis all. Do miss that theme song however.

  • http://mindyourbusiness@getalife.com Allenp

    Kobe and Lebron would beat MJ and Pippen.

  • http://www.twitter.com/TheDiesel Anton

    “Why is Varejao mad? The guy’s a flopper, so if another flopper out-flops you, you don’t get mad! You congradulate him on his way down!”

  • sdfasdf

    van gundy is a quitter and a clown.

  • http://double-technical.blogspot.com Zee!

    JVG also said Scottie Pippen wasn’t a Hall of Famer last night during the Cle-Bos game. Mark Jackson almost slapped him.

  • chintao

    Mark Jackson needs to wake-up and apologize. JVG is the don-dada.

  • http://www.twitter.com/TheDiesel Anton

    91 for Rodman.

  • Justin

    In what way is Scottie Pippen NOT a Hall of Famer? How can you be named to the 50 GOAT but not to the Hall of Fame? As for the announcers, Stockton and Hubie were the first I remember listening too but my all time favourite is Marv and the Czar. I do like Kevin Harlan too. RIGHT BETWEEN THE EYES!

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