Jeff Van Gundy puts on red glasses to join the cool crowd (Picture)

Jeff Van Gundy became a trending topic on Twitter before Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals between the Celtics and Heat even began. After looking at the picture above, it’s easy to see why. I guess that was his way of connecting with the cool NBA kids crowd that consists of LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, and Dwyane Wade.

Once the actual game began, Van Gundy went overboard defending the Heat and LeBron James. It was almost like he was trying to make up for all the unfair criticism James has received. Either that, or he was subtly lobbying for the Heat coaching gig in case Erik Spoelstra gets fired.

H/T Jimmy Traina, Sportress of Blogitude
Pic via Nick Simmons

Jeff Van Gundy says it’s ‘absurd’ that the Magic pretend Dwight Howard wasn’t the reason Stan Van Gundy was fired

There are two theories regarding the firing of Stan Van Gundy: the Magic are looking to start fresh, or they know their only chance of keeping Dwight Howard was to fire their head coach. With rumors floating around that the Magic are looking to deal Howard around draft time, the former is a definite possibility. However, Jeff Van Gundy fully believes Howard drove his brother out of Orlando and that it’s insulting for the Magic to pretend otherwise.

“To hide behind the fact or try to make everyone believe that Dwight Howard didn’t have a part in this is absurd,” Jeff Van Gundy said during an interview with 98.7 ESPN in New York. “Say listen we fired this guy because we know this our best chance to keep Dwight Howard. Dwight Howard and I decided to fire him. To do anything else is playing a game of semantics. It really is.

“Okay listen (CEO Alex Martins) all you have done in your 25 years in the business is release press releases and run the business side. You don’t know if a ball is blown up or stuffed. You don’t know if the pick and roll coverage on the side is right or wrong. Just say that I have no knowledge about basketball. He doesn’t know one thing about basketball so please hold off your comments on my brothers expertise since you know nothing about basketball.”

The situation in Orlando has been a public relations nightmare all season long, and we all knew this is the way it was going to end. Perhaps the Magic are trying to rebuild and firing their head coach and general manager and trading their star player is the best way to go about it. That being said, we know Dwight’s unhappiness spelled the end for Van Gundy. To pretend Howard had nothing to do with it is indeed absurd.

Photo credit: Greg M. Cooper-US PRESSWIRE

Dwight Howard: Jeff Van Gundy’s not our coach, so what he says doesn’t matter

Dwight Howard and Jameer Nelson made headlines when Jeff Van Gundy, who was commentating for ESPN, made a big fuss during Wednesday’s Magic-Knicks telecast about them not participating in the Magic huddle during a timeout in the latter stages the Magic’s 108-86 blowout loss. On Friday, Howard, Nelson and Magic coach Stan Van Gundy commented on the episode, expressing some regret but conceding that it didn’t deserve the backlash it received.

“Jeff Van Gundy’s not our coach, so what he says doesn’t really matter. What Stan says matters,” Howard said.

“I probably should have been in the huddle,” Nelson added.

“It’s my job to get in the huddle, to be a leader.”

Van Gundy said he didn’t see Howard and Nelson away from the huddle, but acknowledged that it’s something that happens plenty of other times across the league. He added that he didn’t address the incident with his co-captains but said, “It’s not a good thing.”

“We were down by 30,” Howard said. I’m pretty sure the reason we lost wasn’t the fact that me and Jameer weren’t in the huddle. There’s no need to make a big deal about it. We could have been in the huddle. We should have been in the huddle. But it’s over with.”

Apparently everybody seems to have learned from this. But, sadly, it looks like Howard misses the point. This isn’t about winning or losing. This was about being respectful to your teammates and coaches and having the proper decorum in the face of defeat. Both players should have been up with their teammates. Don’t expect Howard and Nelson to make the mistake again.

Photo credit: Sam Sharpe-US PRESSWIRE

Jeff Van Gundy rips Dwight Howard, Jameer Nelson for ignoring team huddle

Jeff Van Gundy says he doesn’t talk to Stan Van Gundy about the Magic, but he sure stuck up for his brother during Wednesday night’s telecast.

The Magic got embarrassed by the Knicks 108-86 and were blown out so badly at Madison Square Garden all the team’s starters got pulled early. At one point late in the game, the team gathered during a timeout but Dwight Howard and Jameer Nelson were off to the side doing their thing and even laughing. That really bothered Jeff Van Gundy, who was calling the game for ESPN.

“I was watching the Magic at that time out where Dwight Howard and [Jameer] Nelson didn’t join the huddle. Last night [Andrew] Bynum doesn’t join the huddle. When did this become acceptable that you just aren’t a part of it when it’s not going well and you separate yourself like ‘this is not my problem’ or like you don’t support your teammates?” Van Gundy asked on-air.

“The least you can do is just get up,” he continued. “I don’t understand. I read that (Lakers coach) Mike Brown said he didn’t have a rule that Bynum has to get up. Should you need a rule?”

Van Gundy makes a great point. Why has it become acceptable for players not to participate in team huddles? It happens way too frequently and that’s not the way things should be. Like we said after Derek Anderson’s infamous Monday Night Football meltdown, players need to watch their body language during blowout losses. Dwight Howard is known for being a joker, but when your team is losing by 20-plus points, it’s no laughing matter.

Jeff Van Gundy thinks Dwight Howard struck a deal with the Magic front office

The events that have taken place with Dwight Howard this season have been some of the most bizarre in recent NBA history. One minute, Howard was as good as gone. Whether it was via a trade or leaving in free agency, Magic fans knew they were enjoying their last days with Superman. Then in a moment’s notice, Howard was signing an agreement that stated he would not opt out of his contract with Orlando after this season. Not only is he sticking around for this season and possibly beyond, but he may actually re-sign with the Magic.

There has to be more than what meets the eye. One person who believes that is the case is Jeff Van Gundy, who said you’d be naive to think the Magic front office and Howard didn’t come to some sort of agreement.

“To me, only the most gullible fans would believe that this was about loyalty,” Van Gundy said according to the Orlando Sentinel. “I think it was about power and control. … I don’t know what they agreed to, but anybody who doesn’t think senior management and Howard have come to an agreement on either trading players to get people he (Dwight) likes or changing the coach or changing the general manager or changing the marketing of him. … Whatever they agreed to, there’s been an agreement made.

“What the Magic senior executives are doing right now is unbecoming. The groveling and begging is hard to read and watch. His (Dwight’s) opinion should matter, but the strong organizations stand for something rather than fall for anything.”

Dwyane Wade certainly agrees with Van Gundy, and I do too. You don’t just wake up one morning and decided loyalty is important to you. Dwight had plenty of time to think about loyalty, and it was clear throughout the entire ordeal that he wanted to leave for greener pastures. Obviously Orlando’s ownership did something to convince Howard they are going to fertilize their own grass over the offseason.

Photo Credit: Richard Rowe-US PRESSWIRE

Jeff Van Gundy: ‘Very Few People Care About the NBA Lockout’

Whether you are a Jeff Van Gundy fan or not, you have to admire him for not being afraid to tell it like it is.  Van Gundy is one of the most opinionated figures in basketball and has never been afraid to trash the league that has allowed him to make a living.  Jeff has even been willing to take shots at his brother, Stan, when he feels he deserves it.  At times he can get creepily carried away, but people usually listen when Van Gundy sounds off.

During an appearance on KILT in Houston Thursday morning, Van Gundy laid out a few hard truths about the current labor situation in the NBA.  Here’s what Jeff said about the NBA lockout, as passed along by Sports Radio Interviews via Deadspin.

“You know what I was thinking about today, and even yesterday, is how very few people care about the NBA lockout,” Van Gundy said. “You just don’t hear people talk. If it wasn’t on sports talk or ESPN… would anybody even know? You have to be careful if you’re both ownership and players—that you realize with the economy and so many other options with your disposable income—don’t think it will always stay like it has. It can go the other way.

[Read more...]

Jeff Van Gundy: Orlando Magic Has Too Many Clowns, Needs to Improve Chemistry

Whenever former coach and current analyst Jeff Van Gundy talks about the Orlando Magic, we pay extra close attention. Van Gundy’s brother is Stan Van Gundy who is the head coach at Orlando. Not only does Jeff speak honestly when providing analysis, but we figure his words reflect the thoughts of his brother when he talks about the Magic. As Orlando was getting ready to make its second round pick Thursday night at the draft, Jeff Van Gundy provided the following analysis of the team:

“They’ve gotten older, Rashard Lewis got older,” Van Gundy said. “Turkoglu in his second turn back did not play real well. They’ve had some injuries and some turnover. They’ve just have a lot of age creep in. I just think they have to get their chemistry right again. Clowns kill chemistry and they’ve got to get serious minded professionals who come ready to play every single night.”

It was the last part of his remarks that caught my attention. He’s saying that chemistry is a problem with the Magic that needs to be fixed. When he talks about clowns on the team, there’s only one person that comes to mind: Gilbert Arenas. Arenas is the same guy who talked about faking an injury to avoid being booed, and who recently live-tweeted a blind date gone wrong. Gilbert tried to change his persona and become all business last year but now he’s back to being a joker.

Now Van Gundy could be talking about newcomers like Jason or Quentin Richardson with his remark, but I’m pretty sure Arenas is in the group too. He got traded to Orlando mid-season and has a reputation as a clown. I’m guessing that Dwight Howard’s plea to have Gilbert play more won’t come to fruition after hearing this.