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October 11, 2012

ESPN Has “No Balls Whatsoever” According To Stan Van Gundy

by Jared

By: Jared Ramos

I was excited to hear that Stan Van Gundy would be teaming up with Bill Simmons this year to do the NBA’s Countdown show, well sadly that duo will never happen. Stan Van Gundy’s handshake deal has fallen through with ESPN making many question what happened?

Now there are whispers that David Stern nixed the deal. There seems to be a possibility that Stern doesn’t like Van Gundy, because Van Gundy has criticized him often in the past. This theory seems to sit with Van Gundy just fine.

“I certainly can’t have an opinion because David Stern, like a lot of leaders we’ve seen in this world lately, don’t really tolerate other people’s opinion or free speech or anything. So I’m not really allowed to have an opinion.”

See, ESPN makes about $930 million a year from their deal with the NBA, so you can see how they could get put into weird situations from time to time.

[Any] significant hires are discussed – ESPN stopped short of using the word “cleared” – with the NBA. A spokesman said, “As you would expect, there is a constant two-way communication between media and league partners throughout our industry on various issues.”

So reading between the lines, it would have been easy for Stern to pick up the phone and tell someone from Bristol that he wanted Van Gundy out. Regardless of what you think, Van Gundy wants you to believe that ESPN is full of it.

“No one at ESPN will tell us what happened. Certainly the NBA office isn’t going to tell us what happened. One of the quotes from ESPN in there – we had discussions, but couldn’t agree on a role … as is usual, that’s a bunch of BS from ESPN.

[…]

What I find fascinating … you have to give David Stern and the NBA a lot of credit … ESPN pays the league, and then the league tells them what to do. It’s more ESPN’s problem. You gotta have no balls whatsoever to pay someone hundreds of millions of dollars and let them run your business.”

In the end ESPN made the right business decision. After all Van Gundy is the same guy who pretty much compared Stern to Muammar Gaddafi.

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