Jeff, come back to us

I always liked Jeff Van Gundy. He was an underdog, a diminutive guy in a sport of giants, and I thought he did a good job coaching the Knicks.

But the longer he's on the air the crazier he sounds. Here are some of his recent gems:

- Last year he said he'd rank Tracy McGrady as the second best two-guard in the league, behind Kobe and ahead of Wade.

Oh, where to begin. Dwayne Wade might have been the best player on the U.S. team in last summer's Olympics. Wade carried a team to a final four. He carried a team to an NBA title. McGrady has done none of those things. He did once say that he was happy to finally be in the second round of the playoffs during a seven game series his team led 3-1.

McGrady still has never won a playoff series. Dagger.

Van Gundy also said LeBron should go to L.A. and play for the league minimum so that he can win a title with Kobe. Again, so lost it's scary. First, why would LeBron give up tens of millions? I'd like to see Van Gundy do that. Second, great players and competitors in their primes usually don't take the "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" approach. That doesn't do wonders for your legacy.

Van Gundy said Steve Nash should win the MVP this year. He said the NBA should do away with fouling out. Tonight he suggested Rashard Lewis take himself out of a game after he missed three consecutive shots.

I don't think Van Gundy is a stupid guy (I've been wrong before), so my best guess is that he's trying to be edgy and different.

Unfortunately, all he's being is an idiot.


  1. While most of those comments are nuts, the premise of signing for the league minimum is not. I wrote a long comment on that elsewhere (didn't realize that Van Gundy had already mentioned it), but because you can't copy/paste into these comment boxes, I'm not going to retype it. But just from a financial perspective, he'll make WAY more from endorsements after declaring himself the true ultimate competitor by signing for the league minimum and letting whomever he signs with use that money to hire another 1 or 2 superstars than he'd forgo in salary. Not to mention how marketable he will be when that team becomes a de facto all star team and wins multiple championships with him and the other megastars on the same team. He becomes a fiercer competitor in American lore than MJ if he does that and it succeeds in winning mulitple championships, which it would. If I were him I wouldn't let that teammate be Kobe though so it's clear who the top dog on the team is.

  2. I'm sorry, but I have to say I think all your points are ridiculous. First of all, do you realize that playing for the league minimum compared to the max, he would have to make up over $100 million in endorsements just to break even? The notion that he'd somehow make that much more money by signing for the minimum is absurd. Second, in my estimation he becomes the complete opposite of the ultimate competitor by joining some other great player on that player's team. He's basically admitting he can't win a title on a team built around him, and that he has to go play with another superstar in order to win. If LeBron took a little less money so that his team could bring in another good player that's one thing. But manipulating the cap so he can play on a stacked "all-star" won't earn him any respect.

  3. I think many of your points are plausible, particularly last one. But he would only need to sign 1 year deals from here on out. And thus the difference is roughly 19MM (assuming the league's revenue levels stay where they are now, which they won't, but that's a separate point). I think he makes that difference in endorsements as he starts to win championships and people view him as a team guy willing to make the personal sacrifice. Also, I agree he shouldn't be "joining" someone else, he should go to a team like the Knicks and leverage his own personnel decisions to make a great team around him with all that money. Wouldn't need Wade or Kobe. I guess it would all depend on whether people viewed his decision as being a sacrifice for the team and a competitive hunger to win or, as you (and admittedly one other of the many people I ran the theory by) maintain, an attempt to manipulate the cap.