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Jeff Van Gundy confirms it was NBA who kept his brother off air

Oct 23, 2012, 12:17 AM EDT

Denver Nuggets v Los Angeles Lakers

Stan Van Gundy came right out and said the reason he is not one of the studio hosts for ESPN’s NBA Countdown studio show (the one that wraps around their game broadcasts on ESPN and ABC) was that David Stern and the NBA shut him out.

His brother Jeff Van Gundy — the lead analyst on ESPN’s broadcasts — basically confirmed that. And rightfully said it left him with journalistic questions.

From JVG’s interview with the USA Today (hat tip to SLAM).

Jeff, who hadn’t previously spoken publicly on the issue until an interview with USA TODAY Sports, 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.”

ESPN eventually put together a foursome of Jalen Rose, Bill Simmons, Magic Johnson and Michael Wilbon. While I would have liked SVG on the show, that lineup should be an improvement over what they had last year.

As an analyst who gets paid to be critical at times of the league, Jeff called what the league did 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.”

Leagues can be very controlling by their nature. They want to spin things the same way the Barack Obama and Mitt Romney camps want to spin things. And in the case of the leagues, they have some leverage with the networks that broadcast their games because those rights come up for renewal.

All it means is that you need to be an educated media consumer in today’s market. There is no perfect, unbiased source of information on anything. Your job as a consumer of media is to understand that, notice the patters and see through it where you need to.

And that includes NBA broadcasts.

  1. rockymountainraider - Oct 23, 2012 at 12:58 AM

    “Last ywar” Man who proofreads you work.

    • dls612 - Oct 23, 2012 at 2:05 PM

      Rockymountainraider I have one word for u ( irony! ) take a look at your comment!

      • zerole00 - Oct 23, 2012 at 2:56 PM

        To be fair, Kurt’s already writing his third article after this one. Who has time to proof read and spell check?

  2. katra2logic - Oct 23, 2012 at 1:22 AM

    Since Jeff was NOT in the room for any of the (supposed) decisions, he can confirm nothing but his own suspicions.

    • michaeljordanseviltwin - Oct 23, 2012 at 11:09 AM

      Stan van Gundy probably doesn’t know what happened either. He just reached an agreement then ESPN reneged. Jeff always sticks up for his brother so this whole article should be taken with many grains of salt.

  3. 00maltliquor - Oct 23, 2012 at 1:31 AM

    Yeah, this does nothing to change my mind that David Stern is either Mafia or works for them….

  4. magicbucs - Oct 23, 2012 at 3:17 AM

    Stern is a nazi dressed in a Jew outfit.

  5. rocirius - Oct 23, 2012 at 7:10 AM

    Based on comments by others, I’m in the clear minority of people who appreciate what Stern has done for the NBA as commissioner (for the most part). I have liked the NBA better than any of the other big four sports leagues since the mid-80s when it replaced football as my favorite sport to watch.

    Since I’m not a fan of the lakers or the Bulls, this is ironic because belief in any conspiracy by Stern to fix the outcome of the NBA championships clearly would be the reason those teams have won the most titles during his tenure.

    I would have liked to see SVG in the studio since Broussard is gone, and I’d rather have had Rosé replace Wilbon as host since I liked Jon Barry’s conviction and the drama he added when giving his opinions.

    For the record, I also think Shaq is funnier than Sir Charles by a half foot or so, and I really enjoy the TNT studio crew because of their comedy. I love that new comedy show on NBA TV with all the TNT analysts sitting.around yakking.

  6. rocirius - Oct 23, 2012 at 7:12 AM

    There seems to be a sporadic problem when posting through the iPad app.

    • tommyshih - Oct 23, 2012 at 8:50 PM

      Does the iPad app inadvertently make you think Shaq is funny on the TNT studio show?

      • 00maltliquor - Oct 23, 2012 at 9:16 PM

        ZING! lol

  7. progress2011 - Oct 23, 2012 at 7:41 AM

    It wasn’t the NBA….He’s scared to say it. Lets call a spade a spade, it was STERN / Little Napolean Dictator Politics!

    Ask yourself, why some players are forced out of the league and relegated to playing overseas, when they obviously have more skill than active NBA players.

    Ex: Gilbert Arenas

    Dude messed up and brought his firearm into the facility. BUT if he got regular playing time, do you think he can ball better than the likes of :
    John Lucas – Toronto
    Dion Walters – Cleveland
    Bradley Beal – Washington etc. etc. etc.

    MAN…I will let you go thru the NBA rosters and ponder, is Arenas so bad that he cant get a spot on an NBA roster and these SCRUBS can !

    Ask yourself the same question about A.I. , Mahmoud Abdul Rauf and countless other BALLERS that were forced outta the league early !

    Black-balled by Stern Politics.

  8. miamatt - Oct 23, 2012 at 7:43 AM

    The NBA took one look at how frank Stan Van was while EMPLOYED by an NBA franchise, and shuttered to think of what he might say while working on a TV studio show. He’s never pulled any punches, and the fan loses out on what would likely have been insightful and often hilarious analysis.

  9. lastdukestreetking - Oct 23, 2012 at 9:15 AM

    @katra2logic – SVG had already pretty much said what JVG confirmed. SVG told Orlando Sentinel a couple weeks ago that deal was basically done. Then ESPN stopped talking to them and a while later told SVG they were going in another direction. Stern hates SVG. You do the math.

  10. bigbenh8tr - Oct 23, 2012 at 12:50 PM

    progress2011 said:
    Ask yourself, why some players are forced out of the league and relegated to playing overseas, when they obviously have more skill than active NBA players.

    Ex: Gilbert Arenas

    Dude messed up and brought his firearm into the facility. BUT if he got regular playing time, do you think he can ball better than the likes of :
    John Lucas – Toronto
    Dion Walters – Cleveland
    Bradley Beal – Washington etc. etc. etc.

    MAN…I will let you go thru the NBA rosters and ponder, is Arenas so bad that he cant get a spot on an NBA roster and these SCRUBS can !

    Ask yourself the same question about A.I. , Mahmoud Abdul Rauf and countless other BALLERS that were forced outta the league early !
    _______________________________________________________________
    I’m sorry but anyone watching these guys at the ends of their careers, knows they were not fit to play in the NBA anymore. Yes they were great at one time, and might have been able to shoot still, but you cannot have a team w 5 all-pros who refuse/can’t play defense. Can’t hustle. I’m surprised you didn’t throw Starbury in with these guys too. He is the only one to actually produce overseas, had a statue in China for himself, but he ran HIMSELF out of the league. A.I. was always great to watch but was just too hold and when your crossover made your career, you can’t do much without it.
    Arenas over Bradley Beal? Give me a break. Beal has been a stud all preseason, Gilbert is playing with guns somewhere. Do you think Goodell would let a player stay in the NFL if he brought a fun into the lockeroom or would they be suspended the remainder of the season?
    Educate yourself PLEASE

    • progress2011 - Oct 24, 2012 at 2:37 AM

      8tr….

      Everything you said, confirmed what I stated….Black Balled by Stern politics.

      And you even went one step further and confirmed the same politics exist in the NFL !

      But you close, by suggesting someone should Educate themselves, when you essentially agreed with me !

      Maybe you should have someone read, what you wrote to you and then explain it.

      Ahahahahahaha !!!

  11. scrp2 - Oct 23, 2012 at 1:14 PM

    The one thing I like about JVG is that he’s not into conspiracy theories.

  12. redbirdfan81 - Oct 23, 2012 at 1:16 PM

    I vow to NOT watch the NBA due to this BS, small time move. Oh wait, I already don’t watch this crap, so basically who cares? It’s not basketball, but entertainment by people who have never been disciplined in their lives.

    • progress2011 - Oct 24, 2012 at 2:44 AM

      redbird,

      You claim you don’t watch but yet you obviously follow enough to take precious time out of your day to :
      1. Register
      2. Sign on
      3. Find an NBA story
      4. Read the topic and then post

      Either you are not being truthful about watching or something is seriously wrong, in your life, that you would waste the time that you do.

      It’s simply not normal. You should bring that up, in your next session.

  13. mogogo1 - Oct 23, 2012 at 3:34 PM

    “ESPN eventually put together a foursome of Jalen Rose, Bill Simmons, Magic Johnson and Michael Wilbon. While I would have liked SVG on the show, that lineup should be an improvement over what they had last ywar.”

    __________________________

    And that tells you all you need to know about how bad the show was last year. Magic should be charming and fascinating, but he’s got to be the stiffest commentator of all time given how long he’s had to improve. And Jalen Rose must have compromising pictures of Stern and all of the ESPN brass because he should have been out of a job a long time ago.

  14. katra2logic - Oct 23, 2012 at 4:29 PM

    http://www.hoopsworld.com/charles-barkley-nba-doesnt-tell-him-what-to-say-and-he-wouldnt-listen-anyway/

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