It’s already been suggested that Stan Van Gundy’s non-presence on ESPN’s NBA studio show is entirely down to Association commissioner David Stern’s interference (“Jeff On Stan Van Gundy : He’s Not Heavy, He’s My Brother (And David Stern Is Fucking With Him)”, 10/22/12), but on Tuesday, SVG reiterated those charges, telling USA Today’s Jon Saraceno, “there’s no question the comments I’ve made about David Stern kept them from hiring me.”
Q: Do you believe you were submarined out of that job?
A: I’m pretty sure I was by David. It’s funny. People say it all the time that when an opportunity closes, you end up in a better place. It happened to me in Wisconsin. I lasted one season and got fired. I was 36 and absolutely depressed — like I just blew the best opportunity I ever will have in my life. A few months later, I’m in the NBA.
(The ESPN job) would have been more money but I would have been basically flying to LA all the time. Now I work Wednesdays, a little on Fridays and do a college game on a Saturday every couple of weeks. I stay in touch with the game and I’m having fun with it.
Q: Why do you see Stern’s footprints?
A: (ESPN) contacted me – they drove the whole thing. All of a sudden, it came to a stop. Whether it was Stern directly, the league office making a call or someone at the top at ESPN.
Q: What do you believe upset him the most?
A: There was the time that the Arab Spring was in full bloom. I compared him to other world leaders in that he didn’t tolerate dissenting opinions very well.