Stan Van Gundy’s search for a job has come to end, but don’t expect to see him on the bench for any NBA teams during the 2018-19 campaign. According to Andrew Marchand of the New York Post, Van Gundy — who has never been shy about criticizing those in the media, especially the Worldwide Leader in Sports — has decided to let bygones be bygones and join ESPN.
Van Gundy was fired from his job as the Detroit Pistons’ head coach and President of Basketball Operations earlier this summer, and last month, he was candid about how he was struggling with his job search. The former Heat, Magic, and Pistons coach said he was feeling “lost” and that his wife actually wanted him to retire.
But instead of spending a year away from the game, Van Gundy is back, albeit in a different role. As Marchand wrote, Van Gundy hasn’t always been friendly with ESPN, making this arrangement something of a surprise.
Van Gundy, who threatened to boycott the network last season, will be a studio analyst across the network’s array of shows, sources have told The Post.
January was not the first time he had been involved in a controversy with the network. Six years ago Van Gundy was nearly on ESPN’s air, but things fell apart, because in Van Gundy’s eyes, then commissioner David Stern, put the kibosh on the deal due to Van Gundy’s outspoken nature. At the time, Van Gundy said ESPN lied.
On a personal level, it is good to see that Van Gundy — who, Marchand notes, has not signed a contract yet — is going to land on his feet somewhere after how much he struggled with unemployment. Van Gundy also has a great mind for the game and is never one to bite his tongue, whether it comes to hoops or things off the court, which makes him a natural fit for television. Once it becomes official, this is a great hire for ESPN and a great landing spot for Van Gundy.
(Via New York Post)