Stan Van Gundy criticized ESPN for statements on why he was not hired to join the NBA countdown team. (Doug Pensinger, Getty Images)
Former Orlando Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy has come out firing against ESPN, the network that not long ago could have been his new employer.
Speaking to Dan LeBatard on The Ticket in Miami, Van Gundy was read a story from The Big Lead that ran this morning. The story cites unnamed sources that said NBA commissioner David Stern personall forbade ESPN from hiring Van Gundy to join the cast of their NBA Countdown pregame show for the upcoming season. In the story, an ESPN spokesman said that while Van Gundy was offered the position, the offer was rescinded after the two parties could not come to an agreement on assignments.
Van Gundy, who has butted heads with Stern in the past, didn't take too kindly to the news, or ESPN's statement denying it.
The full statement, as transcribed by The Big Lead, is below.
“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.
We actually did agree on a role, but then they came back and pulled that. That’s when we knew something was up.
Nobody is going to give a straight answer because … that’s just the way a lot of people operate … nobody there has the guts to say anything, so that’s what you deal with.
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.
Just say what happened. Who cares? Who cares if I’m on there or not. Just come out and say this is what we decided and why … [ESPN's quote] that’s just a flat out lie. Why would you do that? I don’t understand. We agreed on something, you changed your mind and pulled the offer. Don’t say we couldn’t come to an agreement. We did.”