Recently, former NBA coach Stan Van Gundy called David Stern a dick, among other things. Van Gundy disparaging Stern isn't a rare occurrence, as the two have a less-than-amicable relationship. But did Stern take revenge by influencing ESPN into rescinding their job offer to Van Gundy? Jeff Van Gundy, Stan's brother and current ESPN analyst, thinks so.
More from Michael Hiestand of USA Today:
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."
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."
Stern might have suggested a loss of privileges for ESPN should Stan be hired—we don't know for sure. But if there really was interference by the NBA, ESPN's potential loss of access won out over adding one more expendable analyst. Two Van Gundy brothers on one NBA show would be fascinating television, as they're both huge fans of yelling a lot. But now, that dream has been deferred.