An NBA coach who has been one of the league’s most outspoken critics of ESPN is reportedly taking a job with the sports network. The New York Post cites sources saying Stan Van Gundy, who threatened to boycott ESPN last season, will be a studio analyst across a variety of ESPN programs.
Van Gundy’s NBA coaching career spans more than two decades and includes stints with the Miami Heat, Orlando Magic and Detroit Pistons. The Pistons announced in May that Van Gundy was being released from his position as head coach and president of basketball operations.
“With the Pistons, Van Gundy, 59, threatened to boycott ESPN after one of their reporters wrote a story in which LaVar Ball ripped Lakers coach Luke Walton,” The Post reports. “Lavar’s son Lonzo plays for the Lakers and the father suggested that Walton had lost the team.”
Van Gundy is quoted saying during that incident: “I thought it was a cheap shot and I thought ESPN showed total disrespect. I don’t have a problem with LaVar Ball. He’s a grown man. He can voice whatever opinion he wants. I got a problem with ESPN deciding that’s a story.”
The Post notes that the incident, which took place back in January, was not Van Gundy’s first clash with ESPN.
“Six years ago Van Gundy was nearly on ESPN’s air, but things fell apart, because in Van Gundy’s eyes, then commissioner David Stern put the kibosh on the deal due to Van Gundy’s outspoken nature,” the story reports. “At the time, Van Gundy said ESPN lied.”
The report notes that Van Gundy has not yet signed his contract with ESPN.