Jeff Van Gundy Says NBA Blocked Stan Van Gundy from ESPN Job

by October 22, 2012

Jeff Van Gundy backed up his brother Stan Van Gundy’s claim that the NBA stopped him from getting a prominent TV gig. JVG, who works for ESPN, made the accusation in an interview with USA Today: “Jeff says his brother ‘had a basic agreement’ to become an ESPN/ABC analyst in the marquee studio shows that wrap around game coverage: ‘And then something changed. 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. … It seems like there are certain people in each sport that (TV) can’t criticize, or you can’t criticize the league itself. That’s what impressed me when (ESPN’s) Mike Tirico and Jon Gruden criticized the NFL over replacement refs. That (Commissioner) Roger Goodell didn’t throw a hissy fit at ESPN was impressive.’ […] Sunday, ESPN’s Mike Soltys said, ‘We had discussions with (Stan) and we were interested in a role for him at ESPN. Ultimately, we moved in a different direction.’ […] NBA spokesman Mike Bass on Sunday said, ‘It was ESPN and ESPN alone who made any decisions about Stan Van Gundy.'”