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Jeff Van Gundy pulled from calling Knicks-Bulls broadcast

Dec 11, 2013, 10:28 PM EDT

Jeff Van Gundy AP

Jeff Van Gundy is a lead analyst for ESPN, and would normally have been the color commentator on the national broadcast of the Knicks-Bulls contest aired on ESPN Wednesday night.

But due to a complicated set of circumstances, Van Gundy didn’t participate.

Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today has the details:

ESPN executives and analyst Jeff Van Gundy decided it was best the color commentator not be part of the New York Knicks-Chicago Bulls broadcast at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday, a person with direct knowledge of the decision told USA TODAY Sports.

The person requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the decision to keep Van Gundy off the air for the game.

With the Knicks struggling at 5-15 entering the Bulls game and Coach Mike Woodson under pressure to turn the team around, Van Gundy, who used to coach the Knicks, was mentioned by the New York Post as a potential replacement. ESPN and Van Gundy decided it was best if he was not the story of a game he was calling.

Woodson is believed to be on the hot seat given the Knicks’ rough start, but someone like Van Gundy who hasn’t coached since the 2007 season isn’t about to jump into such a volatile situation mid-season, and he’s said previously that he wouldn’t entertain any offers while another head coach was still in place.

Still, the fact that his name has surfaced as a rumored replacement for Woodson if the team indeed decided to make the switch made it awkward at best for Van Gundy to be sitting at the scorer’s table for this one.

  1. rodge1 - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:45 PM

    Van Gundy would be the best coach the Knicks have had since well, Van Gundy.

  2. odenxx - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:51 PM

    I hope this happens !!! Woodson’s rotations are real bad!

  3. legend30 - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:56 PM

    Why do the Knicks always have to suck? Why couldn’t they have Van Gundy broadcast the Mavericks vs. Warriors game?

  4. legend30 - Dec 11, 2013 at 11:03 PM

    BREAKING: James Dolan was set to fire Mike Woodson, if they lost against the Bulls tonight a team without Rose, Butler and Deng. After defeating the Bulls, Dolan started to celebrate, and he’s preparing for a contract extension that will make Woodson the highest paid coach in the entire NBA history.

  5. kavika6 - Dec 12, 2013 at 1:19 AM

    I imagine Van Gundy would be a better coach than color commentator. He couldn’t be any worse.

    • topdawg4ever - Dec 13, 2013 at 1:04 AM

      Sorry, I think Jeff is excellent. Has a lot of insight and an astounding amount of basketball knowledge. He also has a great sense of humor.

  6. pacers24 - Dec 12, 2013 at 1:42 AM

    if this wasn’t being seriously considered by both sides I don’t think he would step aside from the broadcast of this game.

    sounds like there is something real going on behind the scenes

    I don’t care either way, I don’t mind seeing the Knicks suck so bad anyways lol

  7. sportsfan18 - Dec 12, 2013 at 9:20 AM

    Jeff, you CAN’T be this dumb!

    Sure, others coaches and you can do better than Woodson, but this team is still bad and isnt’ built to win it all.

    So while you’ll improve it and be liked for it in the short term, it will still end up, well he’s been here long enough and he still can’t get them over the hump.

    The Knicks with Dolan as owner and with Melo as their #1 option won’t win it all.

    • topdawg4ever - Dec 13, 2013 at 1:05 AM

      Yup. That dog won’t hunt!

  8. misremembered72 - Dec 12, 2013 at 9:39 AM

    Personally, I really hate his commentating even though I respect him a ton as a coach. *Fingers Crossed*

  9. stayhigh_247 - Dec 12, 2013 at 9:56 AM

    thats called integrity folks, nice move coach!

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