Jeff Van Gundy: Fan Support Might Decrease Following Lockout

Jeff Van Gundy knows that hardcore NBA supporters will always be there, but he’s not so sure about everyone else flocking back once the League resolves its labor issues. From the Star-Ledger: “What’s interesting to me is, when you’re in professional sports sometimes, you get the impression that more people care than really do,’ Van Gundy, the former Knicks coach, said. ‘And you better be careful, because there are other things people can do with their income.’ All work stoppages result in some degree of market alienation, that’s hardly a bulletin. But there was something about this message worth heeding, if only because a chief public advocate for the NBA doesn’t often warn the NBA that it is about to shoot itself in the foot. ‘I think you can be drawn a false sense of security that ‘they came before, so they’ll always come.’ But right now, I don’t hear anyone talking about the NBA at all, except for the diehards,’ Van Gundy said. So where are you going with this, we asked him. Are you suggesting that a protracted lockout could be fatal? ‘That’s the thing: We don’t know. But neither do the people that are covering the lockout, or participating in the lockout,’ he replied. ‘No one knows. If history is the best predictor on future behavior, the support will grow back eventually. But will it be to the same level? I just don’t know. I think sometimes you get a bit carried away with your own issues and don’t notice what’s happening on the outside.'”