Van Gundy Trades Clipboard for Mic
Now that he’s working as an analyst for NBC Sports Radio
, former NBA coach Stan Van Gundy has had more time to watch the league as a whole. On Wednesday, Van Gundy shared some of his observations when he joined John Canzano on The Bald Faced Truth.
When asked about the underwhelming start to the Los Angeles Lakers’ season, Van Gundy stated that it’s far too early for L.A. fans to start worrying. He went on to state that while the Lakers are putting in a new offensive scheme with two new major acquisitions who have barely played together, a real issue could become the defensive side of the ball. With all the focus on the success of the Princeton offense so far (or lack thereof), Van Gundy states that if the team could focus more defensive cohesiveness, the defense could then carry and lessen the load for an offense that is still figuring out how to play with each other.
When the discussion turned local, Van Gundy stated that he thought the Portland Trail Blazers got a steal when they drafted point guard Damian Lillard. Van Gundy praised Lillard’s seemingly veteran presence and style of play, while struggling to find a hole in the rookie’s game.
“It’s scary to think that [Lillard] is only going to get better,” said Van Gundy.
On the subject of the league’s new protocol for dealing with flopping, Van Gundy was pessimistic about the effect of fining players such a small portion of what they get paid. Furthermore, he stated that the reason why players flop is because it is still effective, as well as providing an alternative to the new flopping rules.
“Players flop for one reason: It works. You get calls,” said Van Gundy. “I say put it in the hands of the referees… Just flat tell them: ‘If you think a guy’s flopping, don’t give him any calls.’ I don’t mean just on the play he flops on, I mean make it obvious to him if he’s going to flop, he’s not going to get calls.”
When asked about the Dwight Howard saga in Orlando, the only thing that Van Gundy said he would have done differently was publicly address the situation even sooner. Because the issue wasn’t publicly addressed when rumors first arose, Van Gundy thinks that it caused issues in the locker room. The problem in Van Gundy’s eyes was that by the time everything had been brought into the public view, Howard only played two more games before going out with a back injury, which didn’t give the team an opportunity to work past it on the court.
As for the question of if he’ll ever be a coach again, Van Gundy was unsure of the answer. Van Gundy knows that he’ll always watch basketball through a coach’s eyes, but the situation would have to be right for him to return to an NBA bench. In the meantime, Van Gundy is focused on becoming the best analyst he can be.
Click the link below to hear the complete interview with Stan Van Gundy.