So I Was Wrong About JVG Being Able To Handle Brother Being In Finals

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


I really like Jeff Van Gundy on ESPN/ABC. I think he's witty, knows the game of Basketball and works well with Breen and Jackson. I've had some issues with his comedic timing in the past, but each year he gets better. That's why I thought that his issues with his brother being in the Finals wouldn't be a problem. Boy, was I wrong.

Richard Sandomir, of the NY Times, talked with Breen following the Lakers Game Five win, and the play-by-play man all but said that JVG was depressed during the whole broadcast....

“I think this was harder for him than he thought it would be,” said Mike Breen, whose command as the play-by-play voice of the finals continues to grow. “This was uncharted waters. I didn’t know how he would do it.”

You sensed Jeff’s reticence in his silence at tough moments for the Magic during Game 5.

“Will they fold their tent or fight?” asked Mark Jackson, Van Gundy’s partner in analysis. (Jeff said nothing.)

“Anxious moments at Amway Arena,” Breen said, as the camera cut to a shot of Stan. (Jeff said nothing.)

“At one point, during an incredible Lakers roll, maybe in Game 1,” Breen said during a telephone interview Monday, “I was making some loud, juiced-up calls about some Lakers baskets. I saw him sitting next to me, and he’s down. His brother’s team is getting shellacked. I hated to sound so enthused, and I told him I was sorry. He’s a longtime friend, he’s my partner, and you feel for what he’s going through.”
While I understand the ties to your family, there is still a job that you have to do, and I thought Van Gundy would realize that. Instead, he sulked and was audibly missing from the broadcast during the fourth quarter of Game Five. As Sandomir pointed out, he could have been analyzing what changes his brother could/should be making, but instead he checked out. Obviously the chances of this scenario happening again are unlikely, but ABC should really consider benching JVG if it does again.

ABC’s Van Gundy Remained Mum About His Brother (NY Times)

11 Comments:

Mark Jackson is great, but I believe Mike Breen and JVG are inferior to Jim Durham and Dr. Jack on ESPN Radio. Still, my ideal Finals broadcast team would be Durham, Snapper Jones and Hubie Brown. Perhaps I'm the only one who thinks this, but at least we know there won't be any undue sympathy for SVG or anyone else for that matter. Still, Jeff, I appreciate your denunciations of the BCS.

Brad James said...
Jun 16, 2009, 1:20:00 PM  

I missed hearing about the cost of his haircuts this year.

GMoney said...
Jun 16, 2009, 1:28:00 PM  

You can try your best to be objective, but it just isn't possible when family is involved. They either should have had someone else do the analysis, or let him openly root for his brother. Instead he just ended up handcuffing himself by trying to stay neutral.

Lawdogg said...
Jun 16, 2009, 2:07:00 PM  

Brad James, shut up about the BCS already. We get your point.


AA I somewhat disagree with you. He did stay neutral....but I'm really tired of JVG just going on wandering through random topics without talking about the game itself. If this was another place and time I'd laugh....but it's the NBA Finals and he is talking about Kobe Bryant's sweater.


Mark Jackson sucks. He's so cliched and limited in vocabulary.



Pair Mike Breen back with Hubie Brown....something I'd never though I'd say.

SSReporters said...
Jun 16, 2009, 2:16:00 PM  

funny that the Awful Announcing blogger needs a NY Times columnist to point this out before he realizes his opinion.

Maybe you should have watched the end of game 4 where JVG completely covered up for his brother in the final seconds of regulation, making no mention of SVG's colossal fuckup, instead putting all the blame on Jameer Nelson.

Jun 16, 2009, 3:51:00 PM  

No way Van Gundy should have been put in that position.
Unless, of course, it's ESPN, where most forms of objectivity are an endangered species.

Steve Smith said...
Jun 16, 2009, 5:54:00 PM  

Did anyone listen to the ESPN Radio broadcast? They were apparently pairing Tirico, Hubie, and Dr. Jack. Seems like a good pairing for tv too, just curious if it sounded good. Cuz I don't have ESPN Radio here so I don't know.

sjeffreyryan said...
Jun 16, 2009, 11:10:00 PM  

Its one thing to be objective if you cover a team regularly, its totally different if your brother is the coach of that team. You can detatch yourself from your local city's team and be objective, you can't detach yourself from your family, nor should you be expected to. Bad move by ABC.

Olentangy said...
Jun 17, 2009, 12:39:00 AM  

SS Reporters,

why don't you go jack off. I'll talk about it all I want. Anyone who supports the BCS is an antichrist, a-hole.

Brad James said...
Jun 17, 2009, 1:19:00 PM  

Brad James,


I absolutely hate the BCS. It's nothing short of retarded. I'm just sick and tired of your incessant bitching and moaning for topics that have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH FOOTBALL OR THE BCS.


You can't help it. This has been going on for like a year now. Stop it and go write to the BCS committee or something.

SSReporters said...
Jun 17, 2009, 5:29:00 PM  

Comedy, thy name is NOT BRAD JAMES!

BTW, aren't you Nathn Brice in disguise?

JamesCraven said...
Jun 18, 2009, 12:48:00 AM  

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